The judge overseeing former President Trump’s criminal case in New York City has set the next in-person hearing for Dec. 4, roughly two months before the official start of the 2024 Republican presidential primary calendar.
Trump was arraigned in Manhattan in front of Judge Juan Merchan on Tuesday, where he was charged with 34 felony counts related to hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At the December in-person court appearance, Merchan will decide on expected motions to dismiss the case.
The Iowa Republican caucuses will be held on Feb. 5, 2024, marking the start of the GOP primary season. That underscores how Trump’s legal troubles could shadow him into the period when voters are picking a candidate to nominate for president.
The New Hampshire primary, the first one on the GOP calendar, is scheduled for Feb. 13.
Trump is expected to use the charges against him to try and rally support among GOP voters, arguing he is a victim of a politically motivated prosecution. A Saint Anselm College poll released Tuesday showed Trump with 42 percent support among likely GOP primary voters, well ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who garnered 29 percent support.
Zach Schonfeld contributed reporting