Donald Trump may be the Republican nominee for president before voters know if he’ll be convicted in any of the legal cases against him.
The New York Times reports that the former president may have the nomination locked down before the party “knows if he’s a felon”.
Mr Trump is displeased that DC federal Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled on the issue of when the trial will take place in the special counsel’s case against him for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
He has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
The New York Times notes that the Republicans won’t have many choices if Mr Trump is convicted of several felonies.
He may have already gathered the support of enough delegates to in practice to claim the nomination even before the trial for his election subversion efforts is concluded.
Mr Trump’s trial is set to begin on 4 March 2024, by which time five states will already have voted, according to the current schedule. On 5 March, 15 states will vote as part of “Super Tuesday”, including California and Texas, states with many delegates to hand out.
Super Tuesday is likely to reveal if a challenger to Mr Trump will remain an alternative to GOP voters.
Just two weeks after that, Florida, Ohio, and Illinois are set to vote.
Two of those states, Florida and Ohio, are states where the winner is awarded all of the delegates regardless of their level of support.
In the past, winner-take-all primaries have boosted a frontrunner’s road to the nomination, the paper notes. Mr Trump’s trial on the federal level is set to not even close to ending by that time if it sticks to the current schedule.
The Trump team has worked to ensure Mr Trump’s primary victories can’t be undone, even if things don’t go his way in the courts, according to The New York Times.