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Politico
POLITICO
16 Dec 2023
Lisa KashinskyKelly Garrity


NextImg:Trump confronts ‘scheduling nightmare’ as court cases collide with campaign

DURHAM, New Hampshire — Donald Trump’s upcoming court calendar is creating a logistical headache for his presidential campaign.

“It’s a scheduling nightmare,” Trump senior adviser Susie Wiles told reporters Saturday. “There’s no way to sugarcoat that.”

Already ricocheting from the courtroom to the campaign trail, Trump’s bid for a second term is now on a collision course with court dates for the myriad legal challenges he’s facing.

Testimony in Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York wrapped Wednesday. Lawyers on both sides will have until Jan. 5 to submit written statements before they return to court Jan. 11, just four days ahead of the Iowa caucuses Jan. 15. The civil trial for writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit is scheduled to start the same day as the caucuses.

And the trial in his federal election interference case is slated to start the day before Super Tuesday, though a judge put the case on hold as Trump’s team argues for its dismissal.

Wiles said Trump’s campaign is frontloading his schedule in anticipation that legal proceedings may disrupt his campaign.

He’s campaigning in three states in four days, jetting from New Hampshire, where he drew thousands of MAGA faithful for his first arena rally in the state this cycle, to Nevada on Sunday and Iowa on Tuesday.

Trump’s team has also tried to turn the closely watched drama playing out in the courtrooms to his advantage. Trump was only required to be in the New York courtroom once for his civil fraud trial, but he appeared there eight times, often holding court with the media outside.

Meanwhile, Wiles said she doesn’t expect the frontrunner for the GOP nomination will suddenly start participating in the Republican primary debates he’s so far shunned, even as his lower-polling rivals push him to appear at upcoming forums in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“He’ll be here plenty,” Wiles said in New Hampshire. “But I don’t think he’s going to get on the debate stage.”