Trump’s New York criminal case, likely first for trial, faces crucial test

Feb 7, 2024

New York: The First four criminal cases against Donald Trump hope to go tests They face a major test next week, when a New York judge is due to rule on the Republican former US president's bid to have the case dismissed because it is partisan and does not fall under state law.
Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is scheduled to stand trial in state court in Manhattan beginning March 25 on charges of falsifying business records to hide hush money payments to a porn star before the 2016 election. Is.
On February 15, Justice Juan Marchan is set to rule on Trump's motion to dismiss the 34-count indictment. trump Pleaded not guilty and argued that the case should be dismissed because it was brought for partisan purposes and because state laws do not apply to federal elections.
Depending on Merchan's decision, the case could become the first criminal trial Trump faces against President Joe Biden, a Democrat, ahead of his potential November 5 election.
A federal judge in Washington last week postponed Trump's trial on charges of seeking to overturn the 2020 election results. That trial was scheduled to begin on March 4.
Trump is seeking to have that case dismissed, arguing that he is immune from prosecution for official acts he committed while president. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected that argument on Tuesday, but Trump said through a spokesman that he planned to appeal.
Florida federal trial criminal case Trump's impeachment for mishandling government documents is scheduled for May but could be postponed. No trial date has been set for his Georgia state case over his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden.
Trump has declared himself innocent of all charges.
Prosecutors allege cover-up
The Manhattan case centers on a $130,000 payment by Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels to prevent her from publicly claiming she had sex with Trump in 2006 while he was married. . Trump has denied this matter.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to violating federal campaign finance laws.
In charging Trump in April 2023, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said that his New York-based family real estate company falsely recorded Trump's reimbursements to Cohen as a legal retainer.
Prosecutors said that violated a state law against falsifying business records to conceal another crime. In this case, he said the payment violated federal campaign finance law and was part of a scheme to promote the candidacy by “unlawful means” in violation of state law.
Some critics have said the case is less serious than Trump's other cases because it concerns his personal life before taking office, rather than actions he took as president that affected the election or national security.
In a radio interview last December, Bragg framed the case in terms of election integrity.
“It's about plotting to corrupt presidential election And then lying to the New York Business Record to cover it up — that's the crux of the matter,” Bragg said in an interview on WNYC's “The Brian Lehrer Show.”
Trump claims 'selective prosecution'
In seeking dismissal, Trump's lawyers wrote that he was targeted for “selective prosecution” by Bragg, a Democrat. Bragg's office pointed to Cohen's guilty plea, saying that anyone who had engaged in similar behavior would have been prosecuted.
Trump's lawyers also argued that state prosecutors cannot use Trump's alleged concealment of federal election law violations to justify falsified records charges, and that state election law does not apply to federal candidates. .
Bragg's office said the business records falsification law is not limited to cases involving state-level crimes, and state election law applies to federal campaigns.
A judge has already ruled against Trump on similar grounds.
Rejecting Trump's attempt to take the case to federal court last year, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said New York election law does not distinguish between state and federal elections, and federal elections are protected by the Fraud of Business Records Act. No discount is available.
Anna Kominsky, a New York Law School professor, said prosecutors appear to have a strong argument because the business records law is not limited to covering state crimes.
“It's very broad,” Kominsky said. “This does not mean that the prosecutor has to prove that another crime was committed, but it is simply saying that there was such intent.”

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