Thursday, former President Donald Trump filed a motion to have his criminal case in New York City transferred to federal court, arguing that “the indictment charges [him] with conduct committed while he was President of the United States within the ‘color of his office.'”
Trump has pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment accusing him of falsifying business documents relating to the payment of hush money to pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 presidential election.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, wrote the check, and Trump reimbursed Cohen in a series of monthly payments.
“This is an unprecedented case in our country’s history.” “Never before has a local elected prosecutor criminally prosecuted a defendant for conduct that occurred entirely while the defendant was the sitting President of the United States or for conduct relating to federal campaign contribution laws,” Trump’s defense attorney Susan Necheles wrote in the motion.
According to Trump’s lawsuit, the prosecution was “politically motivated” because Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg “disfavored President’s Trump’s acts and policies as President of the United States.”
Necheles asserted that the federal courts possess “protective jurisdiction” over this matter.
Trump maintained last month on social media that prosecutors had “no case” against him, writing, “There was nothing done illegally!”
At the conclusion of a hearing earlier Thursday related to a protection order in the case, defense attorney Todd Blanche informed the New York state Supreme Court judge presiding over the case about Trump’s intention.
The prosecution did not address it immediately. A spokesman for Bragg stated on Thursday evening, “We are reviewing the notice of removal and will file an appropriate response with the court.”
Merchan requested in court that both parties agree on a trial date in either February or March 2024, which would position Trump’s trial in the midst of the primary season during his third run for the presidency.
The judge stated that once the date is determined, no one involved in the case, including Trump, should plan anything to interfere with the trial.
“He can’t agree to any speaking engagements or public appearances,” Merchan explained.
Merchan consented to the Manhattan district attorney’s request for an order prohibiting Trump from disparaging specific individuals involved in the case or commenting on specific discovery information. He stated, however, that he would not prevent Trump from discussing the issue extensively on the campaign trail.
“I’m straining to give him every opportunity to make his candidacy,” Merchan said. “This does not constitute a gag order.”
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
Merchan also reached an agreement with the district attorney’s office to hold a virtual hearing at which Trump will be obliged to attend and the protection order will be read to him. CONTINUE READING…