Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has warned that Donald Trump’s trial in the special counsel’s election interference case and other legal issues could harm the Republican Party’s chances of winning the 2024 White House race if he becomes the GOP nominee.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan set a trial date of March 4, the eve of Super Tuesday, when the largest number of states have primaries. Christie warns that Trump could be in court in the special counsel’s election case for six weeks or more starting March 4 instead of being out on the campaign trail, which “Republicans should be doing every day.”
He concludes that the March 4 trial date “just makes it even clearer that he cannot be our nominee. If he is, we’re going to lose the election.” Chutkan heard arguments from Trump’s lawyers and federal prosecutors about when the case should be set for trial. Special counsel Jack Smith proposed that the trial start in January, with jury selection beginning in December, while Trump’s team said the trial should be pushed back until April 2026, well after the presidential election.
Chutkan said that while the special counsel’s proposed date was too soon, Trump’s proposal of 2026 was not reasonable. Christie, a former Trump ally, said Trump’s election interference case is “relatively straightforward” and that the idea that they have another six months to prepare for trial would be a normal situation in the District of New Jersey and almost any federal district of any size in the country.