Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has asked a judge to set a trial date of March 4, 2024, for former President Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants – a proposal that would put the Republican presidential candidate on trial a day before he competes in the Super Tuesday primary contests.
Willis also asked to schedule arraignments for the defendants for the week of September 5, according to a court filing, and says the proposed dates “do not conflict” with Trump’s other criminal cases.
If the proposed trial date is accepted, Trump will begin his trial in the Georgia case when the Republican presidential nominating process is well underway. Several states will already have held their nominating contests, including the traditional early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Super Tuesday, when voters in more than a dozen states, including California and Texas, will go to the polls, takes place on March 5, 2024.
The filing indicates Willis is seeking to quickly initiate the process of sharing discovery with all 19 defendants and wants to keep her word to hold a trial within six months.
Willis asked the judge to give defendants until 10 days after the arraignment to opt into “reciprocal discovery.” If they opt in, all parties “shall serve discovery materials then in its possession” to opposing counsel no later than September 29.
The proposed schedule may be difficult, said Michael J. Moore, a former US attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
“It’s a fairy tale to think that’s going to happen,” Moore told CNN. “I think it’s just a PR move and she has no real belief this case will be ready in March.”
“There’s just no way that they’re going to be able to go through the motions and provide this discovery,” in that time frame, Moore added.
In a 41-count indictment unsealed Monday, Willis, a Democrat, accused the 19 defendants of being part of a broad criminal conspiracy to attempt to overturn the 2020 election result in Georgia. At the heart of the case is Georgia’s RICO law, which Willis brought against all of the defendants, alleging they broke that state law and others as they attempted to reverse the election results.
Prosecutors say the criminal actions the RICO charge is built around include: making false statements, filing false documents and forgeries, impersonating officials, computer breaches and attempts to influence witnesses.
Willis has given the defendants until August 25 at noon to voluntarily surrender.
This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN’s Devan Cole, Sara Murray and Ethan Cohen contributed to this report.