WASHINGTON — Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a new interview that there should be “speedy trials” in the federal cases against former President Donald Trump, although he said those dates will now be determined by the courts.
“The charges you’re talking about were brought last year,” Garland said. “And the special prosecutor has said from the beginning that he thinks the public interest requires an early trial, and I agree with that.”
Garland added that the judges will now decide when the trial will take place.
Special counsel Jack Smith and his prosecutors are pushing for a trial as soon as possible ahead of the 2024 presidential election, as Trump leads the Republican race to become the party’s nominee. The former president and his legal team are trying to delay the trial.
When asked if it might be too late to do the tests, given the Justice Department’s policy of avoiding elections, Garland repeated himself.
“You know, let me say what I said before. The cases were filed last year, the prosecutor called for speeding up the trial process, which I agree with, and it is now in the hands of the judiciary, not in our hands. ,” he said.
The attorney general rejected Smith’s suggestion that it was taking too long to file charges against Trump.
“Special prosecutors follow the facts and follow the law,” Garland said. “They brought things when they thought they were ready.”
Smith’s office filed charges against Trump last year for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, as well as for allegedly mishandling classified documents after the former president left the White House.
The election meddling case is currently scheduled to go to trial starting on March 4, but could be delayed due to Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution against the presidency. It is a federal appeals court is expected to issue a decision the coming days may determine whether this trial will begin on time.
He is on trial over the classified documents claim It is planned to start in May in Florida.