Trump tries to have New York hush money criminal case tossed

The former president’s lawyers argued that Mr Trump was indicted to interfere with his 2024 presidential campaign

Martha McHardy
Thursday 05 October 2023 13:35 BST
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Donald Trump arrives for third day of civil fraud case in New York

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Donald Trump is trying to have his criminal case over hush money payments made to silence his alleged affairs tossed from court.

The former president’s lawyers filed a new motion seeking a dismissal of the charges on the grounds that they claim he was only indicted to interfere with his 2024 presidential campaign.

In the court documents, his attorneys claim Manhattan District Attorney’s office waited five years after the investigation into hush money payments was initially launched to seat a grand jury in the case.

The grand jury was then seated and voted to indict Mr Trump just weeks after he announced that he was running for president again, they claim.

“The indictment was filed six years after the conduct at issue, more than four-and-a-half years after DANY began to investigate it, and more than three years after DANY started presenting evidence to a grand jury,” the documents state.

“The delay has prejudiced President Trump, interfered with his ongoing presidential campaign, and violated his due process rights.

“There was no evidence before the grand jury that President Trump intended to cheat anyone out of money or property through the allegedly falsified entries.”

The former president’s lawyers are now seeking a hearing before Judge Juan Merchan to inquire about grand jury leaks and to obtain more specific information about the prosecution’s evidence against him.

The former president was indicted in March on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

The charges relate to alleged payments made by Mr Trump to adult film star Stormy Daniels to stop her from going public days before the 2016 election about an alleged affair.

Former President Donald Trump addresses the press during a lunch break on the third day of his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on 4 October 2023
Former President Donald Trump addresses the press during a lunch break on the third day of his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on 4 October 2023 (Getty Images)

The former president has denied any wrongdoing and also denies that he had any extramarital affairs.

His lawyers say the records he is charged with falsifying are personal records, not business records, and the payments came out of his own pocket, not corporate accounts.

They also claim the district attorney’s office has not presented any evidence to the grand jury that Mr Trump was aware that the business records were falsified.

The New York case is just one of four legal cases Mr Trump is facing.

In one case, he Justice Department has charged him with the retention of top secret government documents at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, after leaving the White House.

The DOJ has also charged him in a separate case over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has charged Mr Trump and his allies over their efforts to change the outcome of the election there.

Despite his legal troubles, Mr Trump is currently the front-runner in the Republican presidential primary. He has a 42-point lead over his rival Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, according to a Real Clear Politics poll.

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