The judge presiding over the New York criminal case of former President Donald Trump is open to rescheduling a March 25, 2024, trial but won’t consider the issue until February, he said in a letter to Trump’s attorneys.
Judge Juan Merchan said in his Sept. 1 letter that in February, he will consider “any necessary changes” or “any actual conflicts” that could delay the trial, currently scheduled for March 25, 2024.
Merchan was responding to an Aug. 30 letter from Trump attorney Todd Blanche asking for a Sept. 15 conference to discuss scheduling issues. Blanche’s request came two days after a federal judge, Tanya Chutkan, scheduled a separate Trump trial to begin in Washington, D.C. just three weeks before the New York one, on March 4, 2024.
Chutkan said when she scheduled the federal trial that she had spoken with Merchan about her intended trial date.
Trump has entered not guilty pleas in both cases. In New York, prosecutors for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office charged Trump with 34 felony falsification of business records counts related to an alleged “hush money” payment scheme prior to his election in 2016. In Washington D.C., special counsel Jack Smith charged Trump with four felony counts related to an alleged scheme to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power after he lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.
Merchan said in his letter that he would “discuss scheduling and make any necessary changes when we next meet on February 15, 2024.”
“We will have a much better sense at that time whether there are any actual conflicts and if so, what the best adjourn date might be for trial,” Merchan said.
Even as the Republican is running for president once again, chunks of his schedule are increasingly dominated by trials.
Trump, two of his sons and his company are scheduled to face a civil trial beginning on Oct. 2, stemming from a lawsuit brought by the New York attorney general alleging widespread, yearslong fraud. The state is seeking $250 million and several severe sanctions against the Trumps and the Trump Organization.
On Jan. 15, Trump is scheduled for a second federal civil trial in his ongoing legal battle with the writer E. Jean Carroll. Trump has already been ordered to pay Carroll $5 million after a federal jury in May found him liable for sexual abuse and defamation of Carroll. Trump appealed that decision, but in January, a separate jury is scheduled to consider damages related to another alleged defamation.
In addition to the two criminal trials currently scheduled for March, a federal trial over felony charges that Trump willfully retained national security information after leaving office is scheduled for May 20, 2024.
Trump is also charged in Fulton County, Georgia, alongside 18 co-defendants in a case alleging they operated a “criminal enterprise” while contesting the 2020 election in the state after his defeat. A trial date has not yet been scheduled.
Trump has entered a not guilty plea in each of those two cases, too, and denied wrongdoing in every matter in connection with each criminal and civil matter in which he’s accused.