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HomeGeneralNew York Judge Sets Trump’s First Criminal Trial to March 25

New York Judge Sets Trump’s First Criminal Trial to March 25

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A New York judge has set the stage for Donald Trump to stand trial later in March for allegations he violated election laws by hiding hush money payments to improve his chances in the 2016 election.

Judge Juan Merchan set jury selection to kick off on March 25. This effectively sets up the first criminal trial of a former President in U.S. history. The former President could face up to four years in prison if convicted.

Merchan rejected motions that the case should be dismissed for allegedly being politically motivated and based on faulty legal grounds. Efforts by Trump’s team to delay the proceedings because of the workload demands of other criminal charges Trump faces, and Trump’s campaign schedule also failed.

“We look forward to presenting our case in court,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in a statement. Bragg’s case centers on the timing of Trump’s efforts to cover up a sex scandal weeks before the 2016 election.

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Trump’s charges include 34 counts of faking business records to hide payments to actress Stormy Daniels. The payments were to stop her from publicly describing a sexual encounter. Bragg wants the charges bumped up to felonies from misdemeanors.

This is because the payments were covering up a federal crime of election interference. The core of the case “is not money for sex,” according to Bragg. “We would say it’s about conspiring to corrupt a presidential election and then lying in New York business records to cover it up,” he stated.

Even before the hearing, Bragg’s office was working towards the jury selection happening on March 25. The prosecution believes it could present its case in three to four weeks. According to Merchan, the trial could last for six weeks, meaning we may get a possible verdict in May.

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Trump is facing charges in four separate trials around the country and is trying to delay all of them beyond November’s election. While the New York case has moved forward, the other three criminal cases have hit delays and potential roadblocks.

On Thursday, Trump’s legal team pointed out that having jury selection in the New York case start in late March would mean Trump would be in court during a crush of Republican primary contests. They claim these contests will cement his bid to be the party’s nominee for President.

After Thursday’s hearing, Trump told reporters in the courthouse hallway that he wants the trials delayed to free him up to travel for his campaign. “We want delays. Obviously, I’m running for election.

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How can you run for election if you’re sitting in a courthouse in Manhattan all day long?” Trump said. Trump is also facing federal charges for encouraging a violent mob to pressure Congress to reverse Joe Biden’s electoral victory on January 6, 2021.

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That case, led by Special Prosecutor Jack Smith, was to go to trial on March 4 but has been delayed as Trump presses the Supreme Court to back his argument that, as a former President, he should be immune from prosecution for actions he took while in office.

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