Trump Faces Legal Battles: Former President’s Courtroom Drama Unfolds

In a significant development, a judge in New York has stated that the secret-money case against former President Donald will proceed according to the scheduled program, beginning on March 25th alongside the ongoing jury selection. Judge Juan Manuel Marchán announced on Thursday that after consulting with another judge regarding Donald’s delayed federal election interference case in the capital, he made the decision.

Donald appeared in a New York court on Thursday for a hearing that could determine whether the former president’s first criminal trial will start in just 39 days. The decision to retain the March 25th date for Trump’s secret-money hearing will be made in the same Manhattan courtroom where he was accused in 34 commercial records manipulation cases related to stories burying allegations of extramarital affairs in April 2016.

Donald arrived at the courthouse shortly before 9 a.m. This marks Trump’s first return to court in the New York criminal case since becoming the first former president to be charged with a crime for an alleged historic offense. Since then, he has also been indicted in Florida, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. In recent weeks, he has mixed court appearances with campaign events, participating in a closed hearing in a Florida case on Monday, where he faced allegations of organized record tampering.

Judge Juan Manuel Marchán has taken steps in recent weeks to prepare for the trial. If the plan proceeds as intended, this will be the first case to go to trial in Trump’s criminal cases. Last year, Trump had derided Marchán as the “Trump-hating judge,” calling for his removal from the case and demanding that the case be transferred from state to federal court, but to no avail. Marchán has accepted several small donations from Democrats, including from Biden’s opponents, though he reassured that he is confident in his “impartiality and ability to be unbiased.”

Thursday’s proceedings are a busy, far-reaching legal maneuver for the Republican presidential aspirant, who has swiftly turned his court involvement into a part of his political campaign. The New York case has overcome a major hurdle by scheduling the trial to begin on time, following the recent postponement of a March 4th hearing in Atlanta concerning Trump’s Georgia election interference case.

While the trial proceeds in New York, a judge in Atlanta is prepared to hear arguments on Thursday on whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be disqualified from the Georgia election interference case against Trump due to a “personal relationship” with a special prosecutor appointed to the case. He had appointed a prosecutor for the case.

Trump is also awaiting a decision on the New York civil fraud case, potentially by Friday, which threatens to dismantle his real estate empire. If the judge rules against Trump, who is accused of inflating his wealth to banks, insurers, and others, apart from other penalties, he could face millions of dollars in additional fines.

In addition to clarifying the trial schedule, there is hope to address major pre-trial issues with Marchán, including a request by Trump’s attorneys to dismiss the case, which they described in court documents as an “unsubstantiated package of politically motivated allegations from legally flawed prosecutions.” Trump’s lawyers, Todd Blanche and Susan Necheles, accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, of bringing the case to reclaim the White House. Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., had declined to pursue the same allegations.

The allegations could result in up to four years in prison, although there is no guarantee that a conviction will result in a prison sentence. The case revolves around payments made to two women, porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, for remaining silent about their alleged affairs with Trump. Trump’s lawyers claimed that his company paid Cohen $420,000 and recorded the payment as legal fees, not reimbursement. Bragg accused Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, of tampering with internal records to conceal the true nature of the payments made to Cohen last year to conceal the true nature of the payment.

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