Trump Appears in NY Courthouse Seeking Criminal Trial Delay or Dismissal in Hush Money Case

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On Monday, former President Donald Trump arrived in a New York courthouse to argue that his criminal charges should be dismissed or trial delayed in a case stemming from alleged hush money payments made to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels. Trump arrived at the Manhattan Supreme Court accompanied by his Secret Service entourage at around 9:45 a.m., where jury selection was slated to start before the release of old court documents provided by federal authorities disrupted the timeline in the case. 

Trump addressed the media in front of the courthouse by saying, 

Thank you very much everybody. This is a witch hunt. This is a hoax. Thank you.

The trial, initially set to begin Monday, was pushed back 30 days to allow Trump’s legal team to review new evidence. Now they seek another delay of at least three months or a dismissal, citing a late disclosure of thousands of pages of potential evidence regarding witness and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s 2018 conviction. Cohen is alleged to have paid Daniels $130,000 to stay silent about an alleged affair with Trump.

The charges assert that Trump concealed payments to Cohen in 2017, presenting them as payments for “legal services” to mask a broader “catch and kill” operation orchestrated by his then-personal lawyer. Cohen previously pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the payments, tax evasion, and furnishing false information to Congress. Cohen was sentenced to three years spent mostly in home confinement. He is expected to testify as a star witness for the prosecution in the trial against Trump. 

Trump’s lawyers requested a trial delay of at least three months if Judge Juan Merchan rejects the dismissal motion, and they also sought sanctions against prosecutors. Trump’s defense accuses Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, which brought the charges, of withholding documents that could challenge Cohen’s credibility as a witness for the state. The decision by Judge Juan Merchan will determine whether Trump faces the first-ever criminal trial of a former president. 

On Monday morning, Trump took to his social media platform, Truth Social, denying any wrongdoing and saying the case should be dismissed. Alongside the criminal trial, Trump faces a looming appeals deadline also on Monday, related to a $454 million civil fraud judgment. 

Trump wrote,

These are Rigged cases, all coordinated by the White House and DOJ for purposes of Election Interference. THE NUMBER ENGORON SET IS FRAUDULENT. It should be ZERO, I DID NOTHING WRONG! The D.A. Case, that I am going to today, should be dismissed. No crime. Our Country is CORRUPT!

In filings last week, DA Bragg’s office asked the judge to disregard the “wild and untrue allegations” and said that of the documents obtained by a subpoena Bragg filed in January, only a small fraction are pertinent to the charges against Trump.

This criminal case is just one facet of Trump’s broader legal entanglements as he prepares for the 2024 election. Additionally, Trump is embroiled in three other criminal cases linked to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and his post-presidential handling of documents. Trump’s legal strategy has largely revolved around seeking delays and filing appeals. 

For instance, his legal team successfully pushed back the start date of his federal trial in Washington, D.C., related to the 2020 election, citing presidential immunity. The case is set for oral argument before the Supreme Court on April 25.

Trump’s trial date in the Manhattan case brought by DA Bragg currently is slated to begin April 15, pending Monday’s rulings.

This is a developing story. 


Stormy Daniels Claims She Accepted Donald Trump’s ‘Hush Money‘ Payment Because He Would Have Killed Her

Rough Day in Court for Trump Legal Team As Judge in Hush Money Case Rules on Pre-Trial Motions

Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg Agrees to 30-Day Delay of ‘Hush Money’ Trial

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