Trump Hush-Money Trial Set to Start March 25

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Trump Hush-Money Trial Set to Start March 25

In a courtroom filled with tension, former President Donald Trump’s legal battles took a decisive turn as Justice Juan M. Merchan ruled against dismissing the hush-money case, setting the stage for a gripping trial set to commence on March 25. The Manhattan district attorney’s pursuit of Trump for alleged election interference and falsifying business records is poised to be the first of the four criminal cases against the ex-president to go to trial.

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Trump Hush-Money Trial Set to Start March 25 : Denial of Dismissal Motion

During a dramatic hearing where Trump was present, Justice Merchan firmly rejected Trump’s lengthy motion to dismiss the 34-count felony indictment. The charges assert that Trump falsified business records in a bid to conceal a $130,000 payment to an individual, allegedly to hide a sexual encounter and sway the 2016 presidential election.

In a written decision, Justice Merchan dismissed Trump’s argument that the charges were legally flawed, emphasizing the severity of the allegations. “It can hardly be said that the allegations are not severe,” the judge declared. “Those are serious allegations,” he added, referring to the accusation that Trump attempted to influence the election by concealing the payment.

Trump Hush-Money Trial Set to Start March 25 : Trial Details Unveiled

Justice Merchan, after consulting with U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan overseeing a separate case in Washington, D.C., announced the trial’s commencement on March 25 with an expected duration of six weeks, concluding in May.

Defense Protests and Judicial Resolve

Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, raised concerns about media saturation and sought a trial delay, citing ongoing legal obligations in a federal trial over alleged document hoarding in Florida. Justice Merchan dismissed these concerns, emphasizing the court’s commitment to proceed with jury selection on the set date.

Trump Hush-Money Trial Set to Start March 25 : Charges and Legal Maneuvers

Last year, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with orchestrating hush-money payments to women through his former attorney Michael Cohen and CFO Allen Weisselberg. The aim was to disguise payments to Stormy Daniels as legal fees, with the intent of concealing information from voters and for tax purposes. Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges in April.

Judge’s Ruling on Delay and Charges

Justice Merchan ruled that the delay in bringing the case against Trump was legitimate, considering the federal prosecution of Cohen and unique circumstances surrounding the investigation of a sitting president. The judge affirmed that charges were sufficient, dismissing Trump’s arguments regarding the nature of business records.

Prosecution’s Theories Approved

The judge approved three out of four theories presented by the prosecution, including violations of state and federal election laws and state tax laws. These will be presented to the jury during the trial. The defense’s argument of selective prosecution was swiftly rejected.

Trial Commencement Amidst Legal Battle

As the courtroom drama unfolded, Trump’s legal team objected to the trial’s timing, emphasizing the impact on his potential presidential campaign. Justice Merchan, unswayed, shut down the objection, stating, “That’s not a legal argument.”