Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

5 key moments from Trump’s Monday in court for hush money case

By 37ci3 Mar26,2024



Donald Trump’s defense team failed to convince Judge Juan Merca to add more time to the clock before the start of Trump’s New York hush money trial, with the former president shaking his head in apparent frustration at a hearing on Monday as the judge set the next date. month for jury selection.

There was little to lighten Trump’s mood in the courtroom, where the defense asked for time to analyze the 170,000 pages of documents turned over to them a week ago.

The lawsuit alleges that former Trump fixer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to porn star Stormi Daniels, who said she had an affair with Trump, in exchange for her silence during the 2016 presidential campaign. The DA alleges Trump falsified business records to hide the money used to pay Cohen for those payments.

Sitting behind the prosecutors in the courtroom was District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the attorney general who filed the case against Trump.

The morning could be a bit of a cheat for the former president. In a separate court hearing on Monday, Trump won a major reprieve for the debt owed as part of the civil case he lost.

Here’s what happened Monday in Trump’s court cases:

April 15 trial date

Merchan set April 15 for jury selection, three weeks later, setting in motion the start of the trial, which Trump’s lawyers had hoped to further delay.

Trump was nervous

In the courtroom, Trump did not hide how he felt about this case.

Before entering the courtroom, he called it a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.” He frowned. The lawyer watched as the judge pressured the defense attorney as he requested more time to review the discovery documents. And the defense grew increasingly frustrated as it failed to convince the judge it needed more time to review the documents in the case.

Trump, wearing a navy suit and red tie, sat among his lawyers, his eyes bloodshot. But Trump didn’t have to be here to watch Mercha, as the judge quoted parts of the defense brief and prosecutors’ submissions before pressing his lawyers on the timing of his decision to raise concerns about discovery. He will be required to attend every day when the trial begins.

Bragg’s office had urged the judge not to delay the trial, arguing that only 300 of the 170,000 documents handed over by federal prosecutors were related to Trump’s defense.

Merchan said that the accusation of Trump’s lawyer is not convincing. “Why did you wait two months before the trial? Why didn’t you do it in June or July?” Merchan said.

As Merchan spoke, Trump leaned back from the defense table and narrowed his eyes. Trump frowned and furrowed his brow as he left the courtroom at the start of the 45-minute recess.

Optics in the courtroom

Three Secret Service agents followed the former president into the courtroom, drawing more attention to the historic nature of the case.

After leaving the courtroom at the end of the meeting, Trump said “thank you” twice to the group of five women sitting in the back row. It was not clear whether the women were supporters of the former president. When asked, one of the women said no. But Trump appeared to recognize the group, locking eyes with them as they left for the day.

Earlier, as Bragg walked across the courtroom to take his seat behind the prosecutor’s bench, one of the women quietly seduced him.

The judge put pressure on Trump’s lawyers

In a series of rapid-fire exchanges, Merchan pressed Todd Blanche on his claims about the number of documents the defense was required to review, and argued that Bragg prosecutors were “actively stifling discovery,” as Trump’s team claimed.

Blanche, Trump’s lead attorney, turned as the judge pressed her to answer how many documents related to the case the defense had to review.

“Give me your best estimate. I understand you’re still dealing with it,” Merchan said.

“I mean thousands of people,” Blanche replied. “Thousands.”

Merchan urged Blanche to agree on a fixed number. “2000? 20 thousand?” he said.

“Tens of thousands of answers, yours truly,” said Blanche.

Trump watched the arguments intently, whispering to the lawyers around him after the back-and-forth heated up, and his lawyer, Blanche, returned to the table.

Attorney Mueller investigation, Access Hollywood tape, and more. referring to Trump appeared to convey a message to Blanche before stopping to expand the matter with the judge. “We want to be precise, every document is important,” insisted Blanche.

Merca was not convinced by the arguments of the defense side.

“It’s amazing that we’re even here and accepted this time,” he said.

Returning from a break, Merchan ruled that the DA’s office was not to blame for the late filing of the documents and made a “valiant, honest effort” to provide the materials to the team.

From the defense table, Trump shook his head.

Trump won the fraud case

Trump won the victory Outside Mercha’s courtroom, a state appeals court ruled that he and the co-defendants in the New York civil fraud case could post a lower bond, lowering it from $464 million to $175 million and delaying any possible move by Attorney General Letitia James to seize it. .



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