Takeaways from Donald Trump’s wild day on legal developments
Takeaways from Donald Trump’s wild day on legal developments


Donald Trump received both a lifeline from the courts on Monday and a trial date for the first criminal trial against a former president in US history, two decisions that strike at the heart of the legal whiplash that has constantly surrounded him.

Monday’s twin rulings, which came within about an hour of each other, hit the intersection of challenges to Trump’s image and his storied business empire as he seeks a second term in the White House.

Trump’s landmark criminal trial in his New York money laundering case will begin with jury selection on April 15, Judge Juan Murchan said Monday, after a dispute over late filing of documents prompted the judge to initially delay the start date.

For Trump, however, Monday’s more significant decision may be the New York appeals court allowing him to post a reduced $175 million bond while he appeals a $464 million New York civil fraud judgment against him, his elders sons and his company. Trump told reporters he would cover the bond by using cash as collateral.

Here are the takeaways from another historic day for Trump:

Barring another unforeseen issue that is never out of the question when Trump is involved, the former president will face a jury on criminal charges in at least one of his trials before the November election

Monday’s hearing was to consider Trump’s motion to dismiss the charges and sanction the Manhattan district attorney’s office after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York turned over tens of thousands of documents earlier this month related to the 2018 federal prosecution of Michael Cohen. d. Trump’s ex-lawyer and go-between.

By noon, Murchan had already dismissed the allegations from Trump’s lawyers, ruling that there was no wrongdoing and that the trial would begin with jury selection on April 15.

Trump was indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on 34 counts of falsifying business records stemming from reimbursements to Cohen for secret payments of money he made before the 2016 election to adult film star Stormy Daniels to prevented her from going public about an alleged affair with Trump. The former president pleaded not guilty and denied the affair.

The date is three weeks later than originally planned, but the delay won’t hurt Trump’s 2024 calendar much — and it’s still unclear whether any of his other three trials will take place before the election.

02:18 – Source: CNN

The judge is frustrated with Trump’s lawyers. Hear what happened in court

Trump’s lawyers said last week that he is unable to post $464 million in bail to appeal his civil fraud conviction. Trump faced a Monday deadline to post bail or New York Attorney General Letitia James could begin the process of seizing his assets.

But the appeals court ruling gave Trump an additional 10 days to pay the $175 million bail, a number the former president said he would be able to come up with.

Trump has already posted $91 million bail this month while he appeals the defamation conviction against him in the lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll.

The decision is a major victory for Trump, preventing for now the prospect of James seeking to seize the former president’s assets to enforce the sentence against him.

After Trump posted the $175 million bail, enforcement of the civil fraud conviction against the former president, his sons and their company was stayed until at least September.

The ruling orders both sides to prepare briefs for oral arguments by then in a New York appeals court.

Trump did not speak in the courtroom Wednesday, but he still had plenty of chances to voice his opinion on Monday’s events.

The former president reacted to the reduced bail first in front of cameras in a courthouse hallway and then at a news conference at 40 Wall Street, one of the buildings that could have been in jeopardy had he not posted bond to appeal the civil fraud conviction.

“I would be honored to post,” Trump said, adding that he would post “whatever it takes, whether it’s cash, securities or bonds.”

Asked by a reporter, Trump then said he would use cash for collateral.

In his press conference, the former president also opposed the plan to start the criminal trial against him next month.

“You have a case that … they’re dying to start this thing. The judge can’t go any faster. He wants so bad to start,” Trump said.

Trump’s lawyers tried to delay all four of his criminal trials to push them after the election. He may still be successful in the other three, although the trial in New York is due to begin in three weeks.

During Monday’s hearing, Murchan discredited Trump’s allegations of misconduct against the district attorney’s office, finding that prosecutors cooperated in efforts to secure documents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

“It’s weird that we’re still here,” Murchan said at one point.

The judge repeatedly said how serious and troubling Trump’s allegations against Manhattan prosecutors were, at one point raising his voice on the bench.

“You’re literally accusing the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the people in charge of this case of prosecutorial misconduct and trying to make me complicit in it, and you don’t have a single citation to support that position?” Murchan said.

Murchan found it “really disturbing” that Trump’s lawyers would accuse Bragg’s office of prosecutorial misconduct without having any case law to support their argument that the district attorney had a duty to obtain documents from the US attorney’s office and the FBI.

Murchan also lectured Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, who has been with the U.S. attorney’s office for 13 years, for not making the request soon after the federal agency produced documents on the case last summer.

The judge ultimately ruled that the district attorney’s office was not at fault for the late disclosure by federal prosecutors and determined that prosecutors had made a diligent and good faith effort to obtain all available information discoverable by federal prosecutors.

01:29 – Source: CNN

Trump snapped at a reporter about the campaign finance issue. Here are the facts

Trump has sought to delay all four criminal trials until after the November election — in case they are not dismissed entirely.

Immediately after Murchan’s decision to begin the hush-hush trial next month, Trump’s lawyers looked for another way to delay the start of the trial.

Blanche asked to file a motion to delay the trial due to pretrial publicity. Trump’s lawyers argued that a recent documentary about Daniels and the fallout from the disclosure of the secret money had prejudiced jurors and that the case was taking place so close to the 2024 election.

The district attorney’s office responded by arguing that the pretrial publicity “was caused and exacerbated by the defendant.”

Murchan was apparently skeptical of the claim, asking what had changed since February, when he originally set the trial date for March 25, and rejected such arguments. But Murchan said he would allow Blanche to file the request, asking how quickly it could be filed.

Murchan, however, did not seem inclined to think he would change the trial date.

“I’ll see you on the 15th,” he said.

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