District Judge Rules That Trump’s Hush-Money Case Will Remain In Manhattan State Court
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled that the Manhattan felony charges brought against Donald Trump will remain in state court instead of being moved to federal court. This marks another loss for Trump, who was hoping for the case to be taken to the federal side, where he believed he would have better odds.
In 2016, Trump was accused of falsifying business records regarding a hush-money scheme meant to silence allegations by porn star Stormi Daniels of a romantic affair. Daniels threatened to go public with her claims just as that year’s presidential election cycle ramped up.
Trump pleaded not guilty on all 34 counts. He then argued that the case should be moved from state to federal court because it dealt with matters that occurred while he was serving as president. Trump was hoping that his status would grant him special privileges as the defendant.
Hellerstein, however, wrote that Trump’s proposal was insufficient, stating that “the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the matter was purely a personal item of the President — a cover-up of an embarrassing event.”
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He went on to assert that “Hush money paid to an adult film star is not related to a President’s official acts. It does not reflect in any way the color of the President’s official duties.”
Trump, who is currently the 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner, has accrued quite a few legal setbacks within the past few months. He was indicted in June for willful retention of national security information and received a target letter on Monday, notifying him of possible charges for his role in the Capitol insurrection on January 6.
A judge recently said that he had raped columnist E. Jean Carroll, who is bringing another defamation suit against him.
The former president’s hush-money case will continue in state court in Manhattan and is scheduled to go to trial on March 25, 2024.
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