WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Wednesday scheduled the trial of Republican presidential hopeful Pat Robertson's libel suit against a former congressman to begin March 8, known as Super Tuesday, the biggest primary day of the 1988 campaign.
U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens Green set the trial date during a discussion in chambers with lawyers for Robertson and former Rep. Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey Jr. (R-Menlo Park).
The case involves an Aug. 4, 1986, letter written by McCloskey in which he charges that Robertson had used the political influence of his father, the late Sen. A. Willis Robertson (D-Va.), to avoid combat duty in the Korean War.
The trial, expected to last three weeks, would force Robertson off the campaign trail during one of the busiest phases of the primary campaign. The proceeding is now set to begin on a day when more than a dozen states hold Republican primaries.