Donald Trump’s numerous court appearances are set to overlap with key dates in the 2024 presidential primary calendar, prompting concerns from his campaign team about their potential interference with the former president’s third formal bid for the Oval Office.
Last week, Judge Aileen Cannon who is overseeing the 38 federal charges of alleged classified documents mishandling – the second of Trump’s two indictment cases – set a start date for the trial on 20 May 2024. The date is midway between the proposals submitted by the prosecution and Trump’s legal team, clearing the crucial Super Tuesday voting bloc and coming well in ahead of the expected announcement of the GOP candidate at the Republican National Convention in July 2024.
Yet, with three other trials set before this case is heard in May next year and two of them occurring before early primaries, Trump contends that the prosecution of so many cases around key campaign dates amounts to political persecution and that each of the legal cases is trying to tilt the scales of the next election in Joe Biden’s favour. This message seems to play well with Trump’s electoral base, maintaining high approval ratings among Republican primary voters. It also appears to boost
Trump's campaign funds, with a recent report showing spikes in the day-to-day contributions to Trump’s campaign coffers every time there has been a major legal development in the last six months.
President Trump may soon formally receive a third indictment having recently received a target letter from special counsel Jack Smith who is investigating his involvement in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Another criminal indictment may also soon arise through a state-based investigation of electoral interference in Fulton County, Georgia. This means Trump could face as many as six legal prosecutions while running for the highest office in the United States.
With dates so close together, the major question now is whether voters or juries will have the final say about Trump’s chances at the 47th presidency. Time will tell.
This commentary originally featured in the weekly edition of the 46th newsletter