Judge Sets Trial Date For Criminal Case Against Trump — Right in the Middle of the 2024 Campaign


Elizabeth Williams via AP

New York City Judge Juan Merchan has set a trial date for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal case against former president Donald Trump.

The former president appeared in court virtually on Tuesday, when Merchan announced that Trump’s trial would begin on March 25, 2024, right in the middle of the presidential primary season.

The former president faces 34 counts of falsifying business records mostly related to his payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election to keep her from talking about an affair she had with Trump a decade earlier. Other counts pertain to hush money payments to model Karen McDougal and a Trump Tower doorman. Trump pled not guilty to all charges in April.

Merchan has already forbidden the involved parties from scheduling anything that would conflict with the trial, which could limit Trump’s ability to campaign during it. March 25 comes in the heart of the GOP primary, after Super Tuesday but prior to key contests in New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.

The announcement came a day after E. Jean Carroll asked another Manhattan judge to allow her to tack additional alleged instances of defamation by Trump onto an ongoing civil lawsuit against him. Earlier this month, Trump was instructed to pay $5 million to Carroll for sexually abusing her in the 1990s and defaming her afterward.

Trump responded to the scheduling of the criminal trial on Truth Social:

Just had New York County Supreme Court hearing where I believe my First Amendment Rights,“Freedom of Speech,” have been violated, and they forced upon us a trial date of March 25th, right in the middle of Primary season. Very unfair, but this is exactly what the Radical Left Democrats wanted. It’s called ELECTION INTERFERENCE, and nothing like this has ever happened in our Country before!!!

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