Chutkan considers extending Trump trial until 2024 as case remains in limbo

The presiding judge Donald TrumpThe Washington, D.C., criminal case acknowledged Monday that the former president’s trial could stretch into 2024 — although significant uncertainty continues to cloud the timeline.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan told lawyers in another criminal case that she intends to leave the country in early August — unless Trump’s trial is underway.

“I hope not to be in the country on August 5,” Chutkan said during a sparsely attended conference on the other criminal case, one of more than 1,200 stemming from the January 6 attack on the Capitol. If she is in the United States, Chutkan added, it will be because “I’m on trial in another case that hasn’t come back on my calendar yet.”

Chutkan’s comment was clearly referring to the case of Trump, who has been on hiatus since December as a federal appeals court considers whether Trump should be considered “immune” from charges related to his conduct as president.

It was the first time Chutkan publicly acknowledged that Trump’s trial — on charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election — could extend beyond the Republican nomination race and the Republican National Convention, which is scheduled to be held July 15-18. For the second time in a week, the Obama-appointed judge stressed that the timeline was largely beyond her control.

Friday, Chutkan officially canceled Trump’s original trial date was March 4 and indicated he would reset it “if and when” the higher courts resolve the immunity issue and allow him to proceed with his trial. She said at the time that her schedule for mid-April and beyond remained in flux because of the uncertainty surrounding the case.

She now seems to be considering longer-term scenarios. Notably, Georgia prosecutors have proposed trying Trump in August in a separate criminal case related to the 2020 election, although the request remains pending before the judge overseeing the case, Scott McAfee.

Chutkan repeatedly insisted that…

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