Former President Trump’s legal team proposed a 2026 start for Trump’s federal trial on charges he tried to steal the last presidential election, USA Today reports. The strategy is being used more broadly by the Trump team to try to postpone his four pending criminal cases until after the presidential election. Special Counsel Jack Smith proposed to start the trial Jan. 2, which his team said would allow five months for Trump to review the evidence and debate pretrial motions. The trial is projected to last four to six weeks, which would carry it through the early presidential caucuses and primaries. Trump’s lawyers argued the government has had years and tens of millions of dollars to build a case with 11.5 million pages of documents and interviews with hundreds of witnesses.
"The public interest lies in justice and fair trial, not a rush to judgment," Trump's lawyers said in a filing. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has said she could set a brisk trial schedule to avoid Trump’s statements and social media posts tainting the jury pool. Trump is dealing with the timing of six criminal and civil trials. New York Attorney General Letitia James has a $250 million civil trial scheduled against Trump’s company on Oct. 2, which could last six weeks. E. Jean Carroll has a $5 million defamation case in New York scheduled for trial Jan. 15, and it is projected to last two weeks. In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis proposed to start her racketeering trial March 4. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has a trial that could last five weeks set to start March 25. Smith has a tentative trial date for charges of mishandling classified documents May 20, with the trial lasting an estimated five weeks.