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HomeGeneralTrump to Attend Manhattan DA’s Hush Money Case Hearing

Trump to Attend Manhattan DA’s Hush Money Case Hearing

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Donald Trump
Source: CNN

Former President Donald Trump has been scheduled to attend a hearing in New York for the Manhattan District Attorney’s case. Trump was alleged to have paid hush money to women who claimed to have had affairs with him. The high-profile hearing will resolve outstanding motions filed in the case. 

This hearing will draw attention as Trump’s legal team prepares to face off against prosecutors. The case revolves around payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. It was allegedly paid to prevent the women from going public regarding their relationship. 

He wanted to prevent these damaging stories about his personal life from becoming public knowledge. However, both women claimed to have had affairs with Trump, allegations which he has repeatedly denied. In April of last year, Trump entered a plea of not guilty to a 34-count indictment. 

The charges alleged that he falsified business records related to a $130,000 hush money payment made to Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election. The payments, made through Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, were probed for potential campaign finance violations and fraud.  

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According to court filings, Michael Cohen had made the transaction through a newly established shell corporation called Essential Consultants LLC. It was alleged that he had set up the account just days before the payment. “Mr. Trump directed me to use my funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign,” Cohen testified before Congress in 2019.

After the payment, Trump’s company recorded the reimbursement to Cohen as part of a “monthly retainer” for legal services. This was stated by Trump and confirmed by court documents from Cohen’s plea deal. Initially, Trump had denied knowledge of the payment to Stormy Daniels. He even advised reporters in April 2018 to ask Michael Cohen about its origin. 

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However, a month later, Trump contradicted this statement by tweeting on Twitter, now called X. He acknowledged that the payment to Daniels was part of a nondisclosure agreement to prevent her from making false accusations.

“Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a nondisclosure agreement, or NDA,” Trump tweeted.

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Following the postponement of Trump’s federal election interference trial, the hush money trial will be his first criminal trial this year. Thursday’s hearing in New York is the final one scheduled before the trial begins. Although Trump’s legal team had requested Judge Merchan to dismiss the case, the dismissal seems unlikely. 

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Court records revealed that Judge Merchan had recently coordinated with defense attorneys and Manhattan prosecutors. The communication is to prepare the prosecutors and defense attorneys for jury selection ahead of a trial scheduled for March.

If Judge Merchan grants the motion, the charges will be dismissed, and there will be no trial. However, if the motion is denied, Trump’s lawyers will request hearings to explore Constitutional and procedural issues that could alternatively dismiss the charges.

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