Chris Christie, a GOP presidential hopeful, has voiced concerns that the upcoming trial involving former President Trump in connection to the Jan. 6 federal case could be detrimental for the Republican Party’s image.
Speaking with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “The Lead,” Christie, who was once the governor of New Jersey, pointed out the challenges for the Republican Party. He emphasized that, beginning from March 4 for about a month or more, the nation would see a presidential contender appearing daily in a D.C. courtroom rather than campaigning against the incumbent, Joe Biden.
He went on to state, “It’s a challenging scenario for the Republicans,” adding that he’s consistently maintained that the former president’s past actions make him an unsuitable candidate for the party.
However, Christie believes the trial date, set for March 4, is realistic. He theorized that the DOJ special counsel, Jack Smith, might have intentionally pressed charges solely against the former president to expedite the trial process. This could be problematic for the Republicans, especially with Trump still being a prominent figure within the party.
The decision to begin jury selection on March 4 for Trump’s trial, linked to the DOJ’s case concerning his post-2020 election actions, was made by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan. Although Smith’s team initially proposed a Jan. 2, 2024, date and Trump’s lawyers suggested April 2026, the trial is now slated to start just a day before Super Tuesday. This is significant as voters in multiple states will be casting their votes in the GOP presidential primary. Following this announcement, Trump’s campaign criticized Judge Chutkan, claiming the decision could impede his campaign strategy.
On his Truth Social account, Trump expressed his discontent, saying, “The decision today from a judge, who clearly isn’t a fan of mine, granted just a two-month postponement. This is precisely what the flawed system desired, right on SUPER TUESDAY. An APPEAL is forthcoming!”
Although Trump’s team might present motions to postpone the trial, the set date is final and cannot be appealed directly.