New York judge orders criminal trial in Trump hush money case to proceed on March 25

Former President Donald Trump speaks to press before the start of civil fraud trial at NYS court in New York on October 2^ 2023

On Thursday, a New York judge presiding over Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial denied his bid to dismiss the charges against him and ordered his trial to proceed as scheduled next month on March 25.

Judge Juan Merchan told a Manhattan courtroom with Trump in attendance that the “defendant’s motions to dismiss have been denied … We will move ahead with jury selection on March 25th,” adding that he expected the trial would last about six weeks.

Trump attorney Todd Blanche said that going ahead with the March trial is a “great injustice” given his other legal cases, an argument the judge batted aside. Blanche maintained that date would be “election interference” because of the presidential primaries that month. Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo said that Blanche had told his office the March 25 date would “minimize disruption” to his client because there are only a few primaries during that time, and called his current stance part of “a continued pattern to evade accountability.” Blanche later again objected to the trial date, complaining his client “will spend the next two months preparing for this trial during a campaign. It is just not something that should happen in this country.” Trump himself said to reporters after the hearing: “It’s a disgraceful situation. I’m going to have to sit here for months on a trial in a rigged state, a rigged city. It’s ridiculous. I’ll be here during the day and campaigning during the night.

Trump faces 34 felony charges in the case, in which prosecutors allege Trump falsified the business records in an effort to conceal a series of payments to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, reimbursing Cohen for $130,000 he paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels on Trump’s behalf during the 2016 presidential election.  The case was the first of what is now four criminal cases Trump faces, all in which the former president Trump has pleaded not guilty. Trump has repeatedly claimed they criminal cases are part of a political “witch hunt” designed to hurt his 2024 run for the White House.

Editorial credit: lev radin /