Judge Denies Trump’s Request to Dismiss Charges, Trial to Proceed as Scheduled

Former President Donald Trump’s request to dismiss criminal charges related to a “hush money” payment has been denied by a New York judge. The trial, which involves the circumstances surrounding a payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016, will proceed as scheduled on March 25. This decision deals a blow to Trump’s efforts to delay what would be the first trial of any former president in U.S. history.

During a pretrial hearing attended by Trump, Judge Juan Merchan denied the motion to dismiss the charges, stating that jury selection would commence on the designated date. The trial is expected to last approximately six weeks. Trump’s legal team immediately expressed their protest, arguing that they had expected to discuss timing at the hearing. Todd Blanche, a key member of Trump’s legal team, labeled the decision a “grave injustice” and highlighted the former president’s other ongoing legal entanglements.

The preliminary trial date of March 25 was set by Judge Merchan during a hearing in May of the previous year. Since then, there have been no other public proceedings in the case, and Trump’s attorneys had sought to have the charges thrown out.

Speaking outside the courtroom before the hearing, Trump claimed that the case represented a “great double standard” and “election interference.” He asserted that there was no crime involved and accused the prosecution of rushing the trial to harm his chances in the upcoming election.

The charges against Trump include allegations of participating in a scheme to falsify records in order to conceal payments made to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Prosecutors claim that these payments were reimbursements for a hush money agreement with Stormy Daniels, who alleged having an affair with Trump and received $130,000 shortly before the 2016 election. Trump’s legal team denies any cover-up, asserting that the payments were for legal expenses.

In addition to the New York case, Trump faces criminal proceedings in federal courts in Washington, D.C., and Florida, as well as a state case in Georgia. Trump opted to attend the New York hearing instead of the one scheduled in Georgia, where a judge is examining allegations of financial impropriety involving District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade, who have confirmed their romantic relationship but denied any financial conflict. The Georgia case revolves around accusations of conspiracy to undermine the 2020 election results in the state.

The federal case in Washington, which centers on Trump’s attempts to overturn President Biden’s 2020 election victory, had an original trial date of March 4. However, that date is now on hold as Trump appeals a rejected presidential immunity claim to the Supreme Court.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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