The district attorney of Fulton County, Georgia, Fani Willis, has filed a request for an Aug. 5 trial date in the criminal racketeering case involving former President Donald Trump and his remaining codefendants. This marks the latest update in one of Trump's four indictments since leaving office. Willis stated that the proposed trial date would balance the defendants' right to a speedy trial while considering potential delays caused by Trump's other criminal trials. The requested date falls just three weeks after the Republican presidential nominee selection and three months prior to the general presidential election.
Willis also urged the court not to accept requests to sever cases from other codefendants until after the final plea hearing, asserting that the state possesses the resources and capabilities to prosecute all defendants together. If the Aug. 5 trial date is granted, there will be a final plea hearing on June 21, leaving room for potential negotiation of guilty plea deals until then.
Currently, four of Trump's codefendants, namely Kenneth Cheseboro, Jenna Ellis, Scott Hall, and Sidney Powell, have already pleaded guilty. Their change in pleas from not guilty to guilty leaves 14 defendants remaining in the case alongside Trump.
Speculation arose earlier this week when Willis hinted that the trial against Trump could extend beyond the 2024 presidential election. She suggested that the trial might take several months to conclude, estimating an early 2025 end date.
This recent filing by Willis marks the third time she has requested a trial date since Trump was indicted in August. Initially, she sought a start date in October, followed by a request for a March 4 start date, which was abandoned due to the changes in pleas by Powell and Chesebro, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Legal experts remain uncertain whether Trump's trial in Georgia will occur before the 2024 general election, citing the complexity of the racketeering charges and the extensive list of codefendants.
Trump, who pleaded not guilty, is confronted with 13 charges in Georgia, including racketeering and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer. If convicted on all counts, he could face a maximum sentence of 76.5 years. Trump has openly criticized Willis, describing her as "crooked, incompetent, & highly partisan" in a post on his recently launched social media platform, Truth Social. He also argues that the timing of the case should be viewed as "election interference" since the charges were not brought immediately after the 2020 election.