Trump attends hush money case hearing as he seeks trial delay


A combination photo shows adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaking in New York City, and then- U.S. President Donald Trump speaking in Washington, Michigan, U.S. on April 16, 2018 and April 28, 2018 respectively. 

Reuters

Donald Trump is attending a New York court hearing where his lawyers will try to push off his trial date on charges of falsifying business records in a scheme to silence women who say they had affairs with him.

“This is a witch hunt. It’s a hoax,” Trump told reporters as he walked into the courtroom in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The hush money case was previously set for trial on Monday but postponed until at least mid-April after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said he did not oppose a 30-day delay in order to give Trump time to review a tranche of recently submitted documents.

Trump’s attorneys have asked Judge Juan Merchan to either dismiss Bragg’s indictment entirely or delay the trial for at least 90 days. 

Merchan is expected to set a new trial date during or following Monday’s court proceedings.

The hearing comes as Trump faces a financial reckoning from New York Attorney General Letitia James, who, as soon as Monday, can start to collect on a $454 million fraud judgment against him in a separate civil case.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has been unable to get a bond to stop that penalty from coming due while he appeals.

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Trump, who is grappling with four active criminal cases and multiple costly civil cases while he runs to unseat Democratic President Joe Biden, raged against both the fraud case and the hush money case prior to Monday’s hearing.

The penalty in the civil case “should be ZERO, I DID NOTHING WRONG!” Trump wrote on his social media site Truth Social.

“The D.A. Case, that I am going to today, should be dismissed. No crime. Our Country is CORRUPT!” he added in the same post.

Bragg’s indictment accuses Trump of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to hide damaging information from voters before the 2016 presidential election.

The case centers on a $130,000 payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels less than two weeks before that election, which Trump would go on to win against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

That payment, made by Trump’s then-attorney Michael Cohen, was intended to buy Daniels’ silence about an extramarital affair she says she had with Trump years earlier, Bragg’s indictment said.

Cohen has since pleaded guilty to making an illegal campaign contribution, which he said he made at Trump’s direction. Cohen has become a vocal enemy of Trump’s, and he is set to testify in the hush money trial.

Trump has denied having sex with Daniels. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

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