WASHINGTON — Potential jurors in former President Donald Trump’s federal election interference trial may know they are in the pool now.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has sent prospective jurors a “pre-screening” form asking about their availability to appear in person Feb. 9 to fill out a written questionnaire for use in the jury selection process for a March 4 trial. A resident in Washington, D.C., who received one of the forms in the mail Monday shared an image of it with NBC News.
Though the form does not name or refer to the defendant directly, the court had earlier set those dates for the questionnaire and the start of Trump’s trial. The form advises potential jurors that their trial “may last approximately three months after jury selection is completed,” which is consistent with estimates of the timetable for Trump’s trial.
Recipients were also notified that the in-person written questionnaire is different from the online version, which is often the only one used in federal trials.
“The date’s public and the length is suspicious,” said the person who received the form and requested anonymity to avoid attracting unwanted attention related to the trial. “You can easily infer what it’s regarding.”
Special counsel Jack Smith’s office, two Trump lawyers and the spokesperson for the U.S. District Court did not reply to requests to confirm the authenticity of the form.
The election interference case, in which Trump is charged with four counts related to efforts to overturn his 2020 defeat, is one of four trials he faces in federal and state courts. He has also been charged in a federal classified documents case, in a New York City case involving hush money payments to a pornographic film star and in a Georgia case centered on efforts to overturn the state’s results in the 2020 presidential election.
The timeline for the federal election interference case could mean a verdict is reached before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, from July 15 to 18, when the party will nominate its candidate for the general election. Polls indicate that Trump is the far-and-away front-runner for the GOP nomination.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over Trump’s trial in the nation’s capital, rejected two of his motions to dismiss the case. On the first motion, she ruled that the former president is not immune from prosecution under the Constitution.
“Whatever immunities a sitting President may enjoy, the United States has only one Chief Executive at a time, and that position does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass,” Chutkan wrote.
In rejecting Trump’s assertion that his free speech rights were violated when he was indicted, Chutkan ruled that the First Amendment does not protect speech that is “an instrument of a crime.”
Jonathan Allen is a senior national politics reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.