Trump’s First Criminal Trial Set to Begin on March 25 in New York

Trump’s First Criminal Trial Set to Begin on March 25 in New York

A New York judge has cleared the way for Donald Trump to stand trial in late March for allegations he covered up hush money payments to improve his chances in the 2016 election, in violation of election laws.

The trial, if it moves forward as planned with jury selection on March 25, would mark the first time a former President has faced criminal charges in court, and would mark another moment when Trump has tested the limits of the American judicial system. If convicted, Trump could face a sentence up to four years in prison.

[time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”]

The Bragg case hinges on the timing of Trump’s efforts to cover up a sex scandal—weeks before the 2016 election. Trump is charged with 34 counts of faking business records to hide payments to actress Stormy Daniels intended to stop her from publicly describing a sexual encounter. Bragg has argued that the charges should be bumped up to felonies from misdemeanors because the payments were covering up a federal crime: election interference.

The core of the case “is not money for sex,” Bragg said in a Dec. 22 interview on WNYC New York Public Radio. “We would say it’s about conspiring to corrupt a presidential election and then lying in New York business records to cover it up,” Bragg said.

Trump legal team lost its latest effort to have the New York charges tossed out of court on the grounds that they lack legal footing and amount to a political targeting of Trump.

The trial in New York is the most likely to get underway before the election, presenting what may be the first real possibility that Trump faces a criminal conviction for conduct related to his political activity.

Even before the hearing, Bragg’s office was operating under the assumption that the case would move to jury selection on March 25. The prosecution believes it could present its case in 3 to 4 weeks, which could pave the way for a verdict by the summer, well before the November election.

Trump is facing charges in four separate trials around the country and has pressed to delay the many proceedings beyond November’s election. As the New York case moved forward, the other three criminal cases—two in federal court and one out of Georgia—have hit delays and potential roadblocks.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *