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News > U.S.

New York Supreme Court Schedules Criminal Trial Against Trump

  • Former President Donald Trump, 2024.

    Former President Donald Trump, 2024. | Photo: X/ @MotherJones

Published 16 February 2024

Donald Trump is charged with 34 offenses related to the US$130,000 he paid to porn actress Stormy Daniel.

On Thursday, Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan announced that former President Donald Trump will stand trial for alleged irregular payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels starting on March 25.


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The trial, which will commence with jury selection, could last around six weeks. Merchan has been in consultations with Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is to preside over the case of alleged election interference against Trump in Washington D.C., to coordinate the scheduling of both trials and avoid potential date conflicts.

However, the Washington case, initially slated for March, is on hold pending a decision on the appeal filed by Trump's legal team to dismiss the case on the grounds that it constitutes interference in the electoral campaign in which Trump is a clear favorite.

Dressed in his traditional blue suit and red tie, Trump addressed the press from a balcony before entering the courtroom, stating that Judge Merchan "already knows what he's going to decide" because he is "controlled by the Democrats".

"What's happening here is a disgrace. Our entire system is corrupt," Trump said, adding that he wanted to be present on Thursday to explain how "corrupt" the case is.

Trump is charged with 34 offenses related to the US$130,000 he paid to Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign to conceal an affair they had ten years earlier. This payment that was concealed with the collaboration of his lawyer, Michael Cohen.

On Friday, Trump also faces a complicated legal calendar given that another New York judge is expected to issue his final judgment in a civil case against the Trump Organization, which could result in a ban on operating in the real estate sector in New York state.

He will then face federal charges in Florida for mishandling classified documents after leaving the presidency, plus another case in Georgia for his attempts to overturn electoral results.

After announcing his decision on the date, Merchan engaged in a debate with Trump's defense, which sought to delay the start of the trial citing the intense schedule of Republican primaries, while the president scanned the room with a serious expression.

The lawyers also tried to discredit the main witness in the case, Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, but the prosecution maintained that they will have the opportunity to question Cohen as part of the process, as is customary.

Judge Merchan noted that he has already heard all these arguments on previous occasions and that the defense had nothing new to add.

Once the matter was settled, the prosecution's lawyers (the state of New York ) and Trump's lawyers sought to convince the judge to modify some of the questions that will be asked to potential jury members to determine their participation.

Some of the questions seemed to be aimed at identifying the political affiliation of potential jury members, something Merchan deemed unreasonable, although he clarified that he will address these issues later on.

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