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Trump's hush money payment trial gets underway as jury selection begins

Former President Donald Trump's trial for alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels officially got underway on Monday as jury selection began. Judge Juan Merchan is overseeing the case, which has Trump accused of 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

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Trump blasts judge for not letting him attend presidential immunity case before SCOTUS

President Trump on Monday blasted the judge who is presiding over the criminal hush money case in Manhattan for not letting the former president attend next week’s presidential immunity arguments before the Supreme Court.

“In Additional to being prohibited from attending my son Barron’s High School Graduation, I have just learned that the highly biased Judge in the Soros 'appointed' D.A. Alvin Bragg’s Witch Hunt Case, will not allow me to attend the historic PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY argument in front of The United States,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.

“This shows great disdain and disrespect for our Nation’s Highest Court, especially for a topic so important as Presidential Immunity, without which our Country would never be the same!” Trump wrote.

The former president’s hush money trial kicked off Monday, where he faces 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.  

Meanwhile, the 2020 election interference case brought by special counsel Jack Smith remains on hold while Trump pursues his claim that he is immune from prosecution for actions he took while in the White House. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the matter in late April. 

Posted by Bradford Betz

Five most dramatic moments from first day of Trump's hush money trial

Former President Donald Trump’s  hush money trial kicked off Monday, where he faces 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

The historical trial began with jury selection, where a pool of more than 500 potential jurors will be peppered with questions to determine if they can fairly weigh in on the charges. 

The case revolves around payments made by Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to former pornographic actor Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. The $130,000 payment was to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair she had with Trump in 2006. 

This is an excerpt of a story by Fox News Digital's Emma Colton. Click here to read the full report.

Posted by Bradford Betz

Trump speaks after first day of hush money trial and jury selection: "it's a scam"

Former President Donald Trump spoke outside the Manhattan courthouse Monday after the close of the first day of jury selection in his hush money criminal trial. 

“It's a scam. It's a political witch hunt," Trump said Monday after court adjourned for the day.

The 45th president lamented over the judge's apparent decision to not let him attend the high school graduation ceremony for his son Barron Trump on May 17th. Trump just be present in the courtroom every day of the trial.

"It looks like the judge will not let me go to the graduation of my son who's worked very, very hard. He's a great student and he's very proud of the fact that he did so well. And was looking forward for years to have graduation with his mother and father there, and it looks the judge isn't going to allow me to escape this scam - it's a scam the trial," Trump said.

Trump also said Judge Juan Merchan would not let him attend oral arguments in his presidential immunity case at the U.S. Supreme Court later next week

"We've got a real problem with this judge... a real problem with a lot of things having to do with this trial," Trump said, adding a swipe at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

"You go right outside and people are being mugged killed all day long, and he's sitting here all day with 10 or 12 prosecutors over nothing, over what people say shouldn't be a trial."

The former president and 2024 GOP presumptive nominee went on to say that the trial precludes him from certain campaign stops.

"That I can't go to my son's graduation and I can't go to the United States Supreme Court. that I'm not in Georgia or Florida or North Carolina and campaigning like I should be. It's perfect for the radical left Democrats. That's exactly what they want. This is about election interference. That's all it's about," Trump said.

Posted by Brianna Herlihy

Crowds gather to protest Trump's hush money trial: 'no one is above the law'

Crowds gathered Monday afternoon to protest outside the Manhattan courtroom in protest and support of the former President Donald Trump on the first day of his hush money trial.

Some opponents of the former president held signs that read "no one is above the law," and "Trump's deceit is beyond a reasonable doubt."

Others held flags with the words "Trump 2024" and "save America" imprinted. Another with a flag featuring the 45th president's mugshot and the words "never surrender."

Nearing the close of the first day of what is expected to be several days of jury selection, 3 possible jurors remained out of 96 that were sorted. Judge Juan Merchan must whittle the jury pool down to 12.

Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree during his successful 2016 presidential campaign. The dozen ultimately selected will become the first Americans ever to sit in judgment of a former president charged with a crime.

Posted by Brianna Herlihy

Hush money trial judge tees up ruling on whether Trump violated gag order, should pay thousands

The judge presiding over former President Trump's hush money trial in New York City announced he will hear arguments this month on whether Trump violated a gag order amid the case and should pay $1,000 fines for each violation. 

Judge Juan Merchan said he will hear arguments on April 23 at 9:30 a.m. regarding whether Trump violated a gag order that prevents him from making public statements about witnesses and their anticipated testimony in the trial. 

The district attorney's office argued Monday that Trump has violated the order three times in social media posts and should pay $1,000 for each violation of the gag order. The prosecutors said Trump should remove the posts and requested that he be held in contempt. 

The defense team has until April 19 to file a written response to the prosecutors' claims Trump violated the gag order. 

This is an excerpt from an article by Fox News' Emma Colton.

Posted by Emma Colton

50 potential jurors in Trump trial released after admitting they couldn’t be fair and impartial

At least 50 potential jurors in former president Donald Trump's hush money trial were released Monday after admitting they couldn’t be fair and impartial.

Judge Juan Merchan presiding over the jury selection brought 96 potential jurors into the courtroom to be sworn in for questioning Monday after noon.

The judge told the prospective jurors that his role is to help ensure a fair trial. 

 "You alone are the judgers of the facts…you alone will determine if the defendant is guilty," he said.

He added that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and that their decision must be guided on “a full and fair evaluation of the evidence.” 

Merchan also said “as judgers of the facts,” the jurors must decide of the witnesses are “truthful and accurate.”

When Merchan asked the group if they could be fair and impartial, over half said no. At least 50 were let go from the jury pool for that reason.

There are a total of 200 possible jurors present at the New York City courthouse.

Fox News' Grace Taggart and Maria Paronich contributed to this report.

Posted by Brianna Herlihy

96 potential jurors in Trump hush money trial sworn in

96 potential jurors in former president Donald Trump's hush money trial have been sworn in for questioning as part of the jury selection process.

There are a total of 200 possible jurors present at the New York City courthouse. Judge Juan Merchan, just before 3 p.m. on Monday, greeted the prospective jurors and gave them a summary of the case, The People of the State of N.Y v. Donald J. Trump. 

The identities of the jurors will remain anonymous. Earlier in the day, Merchan said he was concerned about questioning individual jurors in the jury room with a large amount of people present, fearing it would be “overly intimidating.” 

He decided he will excuse other jurors from the room and question the individual juror at the podium.

The judge told the prospective jurors that his role is to help ensure a fair trial.  "You alone are the judgers of the facts…you alone will determine if the defendant is guilty," he said.

He added that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and that their decision must be guided on “a full and fair evaluation of the evidence.” 

Merchan also said “as judgers of the facts,” the jurors must decide of the witnesses are “truthful and accurate.”

Fox News' Maria Paronich contributed to this report.

Posted by Brianna Herlihy

Trump could miss son Barron Trump’s high school graduation due to hush money trial

During the opening day of the hush money trial against former president Donald Trump, Judge Juan Merchan presiding over the courtroom said it was "too early" for him to decide whether to honor Trump's request to skip a trial day to attend his youngest son's high school graduation.

On Monday, Trump's defense team asked the judge for a few scheduling exceptions including the first two and the last two days of Passover -- which starts on April 22 -- and Barron Trump's high school graduation on May 17.

Merchan said he would not yet make a decision on the defense's request. “It really depends on if we are on time and where we are in the trial,” Merchan said Monday.

As of Monday afternoon, jury selection for the trial is still in process. Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The charges are related to alleged hush-money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Fox News' Maria Paronich contributed to this report.

Posted by Brianna Herlihy

What is the Trump ‘hush money’ case about?

Former President Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The charges are related to alleged hush-money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has alleged that Trump "repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election."

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

In 2018, Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges, including tax evasion, lying to Congress, and campaign finance violations. Cohen pleaded guilty to arranging payments to Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal in order to prevent them from going public with alleged affairs with Trump, which Trump has repeatedly denied.  

Cohen has said Trump directed the payments – which the former president has denied for years. 

Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 through his own company and was later reimbursed by Trump's company, which logged the payments as "legal expenses." McDougal received $150,000 through the publisher of the supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer.

The Trump Organization "grossed up" Cohen’s reimbursement for Daniels' payment for "tax purposes," according to federal prosecutors who filed the 2018 criminal charges against Cohen for the payments. 

Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing with regard to the payments made to Daniels and McDougal, and has repeatedly said the payments were "not a campaign violation," but rather a "simple private transaction."

Those payments had been investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York and by the Federal Election Commission.

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the Daniels payment in 2019. The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.

Posted by Brooke Singman

Jury selection begins as Trump, prosecutors return from recess

Former President Trump's legal team and prosecutors with Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg officially began the jury selection process after returning from lunch recess on Monday.

Trump's lawyers have predicted that the jury process will take several weeks, as finding non-biased jurors in deep-blue Manhattan could prove difficult. Judge Juan Merchan is overseeing the trial and the selection process.

Trump gave a thumbs up to reporters as he returned to the courtroom.

Merchan hashed out final details regarding the trial with both the defense and prosecution throughout Monday morning. The judge ruled that prosecutors may reference the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape as it relates to the trial, but he said they cannot play the recording for the jury.

Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records, and he has pleaded not guilty on all counts. The case relates to hush money payments he made to pornography actress Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election.

The key witnesses in the trial will be Daniels, Trump, as well as Michael Cohen, who served as Trump's lawyer at the time and handled the payments to Daniels.

The case is one of four indictments Trump is facing in the lead-up to the 2024 presidential election. He also faces election interference accusations in both Washington, D.C. and Georgia.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Trump campaign lashes out at Joe Biden amid Manhattan trial: 'Democracy's Greatest Threat'

Former President Trump's campaign labeled President Biden as "democracy's greatest threat" in an aggressive statement on Monday.

The campaign blast came as Trump began the first day of his hush money payments trial in New York City. Trump's war room accused Biden of removing his Democratic rivals from the ballot, calling for journalists to be removed from social media, as well as being financially reliant on foreign countries.

"Crooked Joe Biden is building the most sophisticated censorship and information control apparatus in the world to crush free speech in America," the campaign alleges. "Joe Biden and the Deep State are weaponizing government agencies designed to protect our country against foreign threats in order to systematically censor the lawful speech of American citizens."

"Journalists who raised questions about the unconstitutional vaccine mandates were de-platformed from social media at the request of the Biden Administration," the campaign added. Biden administration officials pressured Big Tech companies to 'stop allowing' Americans to question the Administration’s climate change narrative and Green New Deal agenda."

The campaign also echoed Trump himself in accusing Biden of trying to imprison his rivals. Trump claimed Biden is involved in the four cases arrayed against him, of which Monday's case is the first.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Can Trump still run for president if he is convicted?

Even if he is convicted, Trump is not required to end his presidential candidacy , and he doesn’t appear likely to. 

The Constitution doesn’t prevent people from running for, or serving as president if they have been convicted of a felony. Trump has frequently referred to the various criminal cases against him as election interference or politicized attempts to persecute him. He has referred to it often on the campaign trail, to a positive reception from his supporters.

Posted by Brooke Singman

Prosecutors push to fine Trump $3,000 for gag order violations in hush money trial

New York prosecutors are pushing to fine former President Trump $3,000 for allegedly violating a gag order from Judge Juan Merchan on Monday.

Prosecutors with Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg's office argued three separate posts Trump made on social media violated Merchan's gag order. The order prohibits Trump from discussing the family members of those involved in the proceedings.

Merchan imposed the order just days after Trump criticized his daughter, Loren Merchan, for raising money for Democrats.

“We think it is important for the court to remind Mr. Trump that he is a criminal defendant,” prosecutor Christopher Conroy told the judge.

Trump's legal team pushed back on the move, saying Trump was only responding to attacks he had received.

“He is responding to salacious, repeated, vehement attacks by these witnesses,” Trump lawyer Todd Blanche said, referring to pornography star Stormy Daniels and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Merchan sent the court to lunch recess before ruling on the issue.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Stuart Varney: Trump's hush money trial is a 'show' put on by Democrats

During his "My Take," Monday, "Varney & Co." host Stuart Varney discussed Donald Trump's trial for alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, arguing the case is another "spectacle" that makes New York City look worse than it already is.

STUART VARNEY: Visitors to New York City these days have to wade through dirty streets, wandering lunatics high on heaven knows what, migrant children hustling candy and random acts of violence. 

This city is not doing well, and the problems are largely self-inflicted. 

Today, another spectacle that makes this city look even worse.

Donald Trump is going on trial. 

It's a show trial, cobbled together by Trump haters eager to put him in prison in the middle of a presidential election. 

They want to slime him, and they want to tie him down in court, so he can't campaign.

In 2016, right before the presidential election, Trump had his fixer, lawyer Michael Cohen, pay a porn star $130,000 to keep quiet. 

It was hush money disguised as payment for legal services. 

D.A. Alvin Bragg, said that was, "falsifying business records," and slaps Trump with 34 criminal charges.

This is an excerpt from Varney's full remarks

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Prosecutors allowed to discuss but not show the 'Access Hollywood' case in hush money trial

Judge Juan Merchan prohibited prosecutors from showing the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape during former President Trump's hush money trial on Monday.

Merchan will allow prosecutors to discuss the contents of the tape, but he does not want jurors to hear Trump's voice from the recording. Prosecutors are discussing internal Trump campaign communications when the tape was first made public prior to the 2016 election, when both Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon were advised to "deny, deny, deny."

They want to introduce evidence showed how damaging the Access Hollywood tape was in hopes to establish that the campaign believed it was necessary to prevent pornography actress Stormy Daniels’ story from coming out in turn.

Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records in the case. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Both Daniels and Trump are expected to testify in the trial, as well as former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

While proceedings for the trial began Monday, lawyers for Trump expect the jury selection process to last several weeks.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

If convicted, what impact will it have on Trump's presidential candidacy?

If Trump is found guilty at trial, he could face up to four years in prison for each felony charge – or alternatively, a sentence of probation. 

Since Trump has not been previously convicted, making him a hypothetical first-time offender, it’s likely he would be considered a candidate for probation. The felonies Trump is charged with are class E, which is the least severe under New York law. In the case that Trump is sentenced to prison, sentences for class E felonies are between one and four years.

Posted by Julia Johnson

Trump Media stock plummets as trial begins in Manhattan

Trump Media & Technology Group's (TMTG) stock price plunged by more than 15% on Monday after the parent company of former President Donald Trump's Truth Social platform filed to sell millions more shares.

TMTG, which trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol "DJT," said in an SEC filing it could issue an additional 21.5 million shares in the coming months.

The drop comes the same day Trump's hush money payments trial began in New York City. He is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in relation to payments he allegedly made to pornography actress Stormy Daniels.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all counts. He derided the trial as an "assault on America" in a brief statement to reporters before entering the courthouse on Monday.

Presiding over the case is Judge Juan Merchan, who already has a contentious relationship with Trump. Trump has called the trial "rigged" and criticized Merchan as biased, citing his daughter's history of raising funds for Democrats.

This is an excerpt from an article by Fox News' Breck Dumas

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

What is Trump’s response to the charges?

Former President Trump has consistently denied the accusations in his New York City hush money case, denouncing the investigation as a “witch hunt” on multiple occasions.

He’s denied ever having an affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels and pleaded not guilty to the 34 counts linked to accusations he falsified business records to cover up repaying his ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, for giving Daniels $130,000 to not discuss their alleged intimate encounters.

His attorneys have tried to delay the April 15 trial start date several times, and to no avail – a New York appeals court rejected his third request to delay just last week.

The former president has also criticized nearly all the top players involved in his prosecution, including Daniels, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, and Juan Merchan, the judge tasked with overseeing the trial.

“Judge Juan Merchan, a very distinguished looking man, is nevertheless a true and certified Trump Hater who suffers from a very serious case of Trump Derangement Syndrome,” Trump recently wrote on his Truth Social app.

Posted by Liz Elkind

Trump offers harsh words for hush money trial as case officially kicks off

Former President Donald Trump officially arrived to a Manhattan court Monday as the hush money case kicks off, where he will face trial over 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

"Nothing like this has ever happened before," Trump said at the courthouse Monday. "This is political persecution ... it's a case that should have never been brought."

"This is an assault on America and that's why I'm very proud to be here," he added. 

The 45th president left Trump Tower early Monday morning, where he was seen waving to supporters before heading to Manhattan Criminal Court. 

The trial marks the first time a former president will stand trial over criminal charges. 

Dubbed the "hush money" case, the trial focuses on payments made by Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to former pornographic actor Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. The $130,000 payment was to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair she had with the then-real estate tycoon in 2006.

Trump has denied the affair and pleaded not guilty to the 34 charges against him.

This is an excerpt from an article by Fox News' Emma Colton

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Who is Juan M. Merchan, the Manhattan judge who is presiding over Trump’s hush money case?

Former President Trump will appear before Judge Juan Merchan in a Manhattan court Tuesday for his arraignment after being formally charged for crimes related to hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Merchan, who has previously handled cases involving Trump and his business dealings , was born in Bogota, Colombia, and emigrated to New York City when he was 6 years old. He was raised in Queens as the youngest of six children.

Merchan began his legal career in 1994 as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan after graduating from Hofstra University School of Law. After five years conducting trials and prosecuting financial fraud cases, he moved to the State Attorney General’s Office, where he held positions overseeing civil cases on Long Island, according to a profile in the New York Times.

Then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Merchan to be a family court judge in the Bronx in New York City. In 2009, Merchan was appointed by Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau to be an acting judge in the state Supreme Court, where he presided over felony criminal trials.

Merchan was the judge overseeing the civil-fraud case and trial involving the Trump Organization and its former CFO, Allen Weisselberg. During that trial last year, Merchan shot down assertions from Trump lawyers that the case was politically motivated, according to CBS News.

"I will not allow you in any way to bring up a selective prosecution claim or claim this is some sort of novel prosecution," Merchan said, later adding that he "will have very little patience at trial any questions that are not in a good-faith basis."

Merchan ultimately sentenced Weisselberg to five months in prison and ordered Trump's companies to pay a $1.6 million fine, the maximum amount under New York state law.

Merchan is also the judge presiding over the fraud case against Steve Bannon in relation to the "We Build the Wall" organization.

Fox News’ Brianna Herlihy contributed to this update.

Posted by Kyle Morris

Judge presiding over Trump hush money case declines to recuse himself

The judge presiding over former President Trump's hush money payments trial declined to recuse himself as the proceedings began on Monday.

Trump's legal team had motioned for Judge Juan Merchan to recuse himself, arguing he is biased due to various connections to the Democratic party, including that his daughter, who has worked to raise money for Democrats.

Merchan argued Trump's team failed to provide proof of his inability to act impartially in the case, citing a report from an advisory committee that found no basis for him to recuse himself.

Trump has called the trial "rigged" in statements on social media and at the Manhattan courthouse on Monday.

"I want my VOICE back. This Crooked Judge has GAGGED me. Unconstitutional! The other side can talk about me, but I am not allowed to talk about them! Rigged Trial!" Trump wrote on social media Monday morning.

"Why didn’t they bring this totally discredited lawsuit 7 years ago??? Election Interference!" he added.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Trump to appear in Manhattan court, but trial will not be televised

The trial involving former President Trump, who will be in a New York court Tuesday for his arraignment after being formally charged for crimes related to hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, will not be televised.

Proceedings are expected to take place four days a week, with the exception being Wednesdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

While the trial won’t be televised, reporters will be allowed to share certain content from the Lower Manhattan courtroom, as well as an overflow room that’s nearby.

Photographers will also be permitted in the courtroom for 45 seconds each day, prior to when proceedings begin.

Judge Juan Merchan, who previously handled cases involving Trump and his business dealings, will preside over the case against the former president.

On March 30, Trump was indicted as part of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's years-long investigation into hush-money payments made leading up to the 2016 election.

These include the $130,000 payment made to Daniels and the $150,000 payment made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Hush-money payments made to both McDougal and Daniels had been investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York and by the Federal Election Commission.

Federal prosecutors in SDNY opted out of charging Trump related to the Daniels payment in 2019. The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.

Fox News’ Brianna Herlihy contributed to this update.

Posted by Kyle Morris

Trump will be a 'very compelling witness,' his attorney says

Trump's attorney Will Scharf joined 'America's Newsroom' to discuss the jury selection process in the former president's hush money trial as it begins in New York City on Monday.

Scharf spoke about Trump's plans to testify in the case and argued that he will be a "very compelling witness." He also predicted that the jury selection process is likely to take weeks as Trump's legal team seek to sift out biased jurors.

"It's going to be very difficult to find jurors just with an open mind to the facts and the law," Scharf said. "In terms of the president testifying, that's obviously going to be a decision for him and the trial team as we get into that later in the trial."

"I will say that President Trump will be a very compelling witness here, just because at the end of the day the truth is on his side. I really don't see how any of the other witnesses, any of the other evidence can undercut that basic fact," he added.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Who are the witnesses in Trump’s hush money trial?

In the hush money trial against former President Trump scheduled to begin on April 15, several key potential witnesses have emerged who could potentially be asked to testify of events surrounding the alleged payments to Stormy Daniels to suppress her claims of an extramarital affair.

Michael Cohen: Trump’s former personal lawyer and a key witness before the Manhattan grand jury that indicted Trump, Cohen allegedly paid Daniels $130,000 before the 2016 election to prevent her from publicizing her alleged sexual encounter with Trump. Cohen has repeatedly said Trump directed him to make the payment. According to the indictment, after the 2016 election, Trump allegedly reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 payment with a series of monthly checks.

Hope Hicks: A longtime Trump confidante and former White House communications director, Hicks' proximity to Trump during his 2016 campaign and presidency makes her a significant potential witness. CNN reported that she appeared before the grand jury last year before Trump was indicted.

Madeleine Westerhout: ABC News reported last week that Westerhout, who served as Trump's executive assistant and “gatekeeper” in the White House during the first two years of his presidency, was subpoenaed to testify by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. It’s unclear though if she will be ultimately called to the witness stand.

Bragg indicted Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Bragg alleged that Trump "repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

Posted by Brianna Herlihy

Trump calls trial 'assault on America'

Former President Trump briefly spoke to reporters outside the courtroom for his hush money payments trial in New York City on Monday.

"This is an assault on America. Nothing like this has ever happened before, there's never been anything like it. Ever legal scholar says this case is nonsense and it should never have been brought," Trump said. "There is no case, and they've said its from people that don't necessarily follow or like Donald Trump. So this is an outrage that this case was brought."

"This is a political persecution. This is persecution like never before. Nobody's ever seen anything like it, and again, it's a case that should have never been brought. It's an assault on America, and that's why I'm very proud to be here. It's an assault on our country," he added.

Trump went on to claim that President Biden is "very much involved in this case," and called him an "incompetent man."

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Is the hush money case a criminal case?

The hush money trial involving former President Trump marks the first case out of his 88 criminal charges he faces in various legal proceedings to go to trial before the 2024 election in November.

The trial stems from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into Trump’s alleged hush-money payments during the 2016 election and was originally scheduled to begin on March 25.

Bragg indicted Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Bragg alleged that Trump "repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election."

In 2019, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Notably, the crime Trump is being charged with is an intent crime. That means that Bragg will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump falsified the records with intent to defraud.

As it is an intent crime, it will not be enough for Bragg to just show that the business records were false. The case will require a theory of how the false records were intended to defraud another party.

Motive will be a large part of the defense, as Trump has previously claimed that the payments were made to protect his family and image, not to protect his candidacy.

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

Posted by Brianna Herlihy

Trump arrives at Manhattan courthouse

Former President Donald Trump arrived at Manhattan Criminal Court Monday morning where he will face the historical hush money trial. 

Trump will face 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in connection to hush money payments ahead of the 2016 election. 

The charges stem from checks reimbursing former Trump attorney Michael Cohen over a roughly 12-month period for paying former pornographic actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 ??to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair she had with Trump in 2006. 

Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels. 

The trial kicks off Monday with jury selection, with the case anticipated to last at least six weeks. The trial marks the first time a former president will stand trial over criminal charges

Posted by Emma Colton

Who is Alvin Bragg, the NYC DA presiding over Trump’s case?

Alvin Bragg is the 37th District Attorney of Manhattan, New York City, overseeing the high-profile hush money trial involving former President Trump. Born and raised in Harlem, Bragg graduated from Harvard Law School and worked as a federal prosecutor. Bragg is known for his progressive stances on criminal justice issues, advocating for reform measures including reducing mass incarceration, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and propelling alternatives to tough-on-crime prosecution, such as diversion programs and restorative justice programs. According to his online biography, Bragg also "directly oversees a unit to root out police misconduct." 

Bragg's office prosecutes nearly all criminal cases in Manhattan and is staffed by about 500 lawyers. His decision to convene the grand jury earlier this year led to the first criminal charge against a former U.S. president. He successfully convicted the Trump Organization of tax fraud. 

Fox News’ Julia Musto contributed to this report.

Posted by Jamie Joseph

Trump waves at supporters while exiting Trump Tower en route to court

Former President Donald Trump left Trump Tower Monday morning on his way to the courthouse.

Trump was seen waving to supporters as he got into a car to head to the courthouse in Lower Manhattan.

Trump's hush money case kicks off Monday at 10 a.m. Court proceedings will begin with jury selection this week, where potential jurors will answer dozens of questions to determine any bias in the case.

Dubbed the "hush money case," the trial’s origins reach back to October of 2016, when Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen paid former pornographic actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair she had with the then-real estate tycoon in 2006. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels. 

The trial is expected to last at least six weeks.

Posted by Emma Colton

Who is Stormy Daniels, the woman at the center of the hush money trials?

Stormy Daniels, born Stephanie Gregory Clifford, is an American adult film actress, director, and writer who gained widespread notoriety for her alleged affair with former President Trump in 2006. Daniels claims to have had a consensual sexual encounter with Trump, which allegedly occurred shortly after the birth of his first son, Barron, with his third wife, Melania.

The affair came into the public eye in 2018 when it was reported that Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $130,000 in hush money to keep silent about the alleged affair -- which Trump denies -- just before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels has been involved in legal battles with Trump and his associates over the validity of non-disclosure agreements and other issues related to the alleged affair.

Posted by Jamie Joseph

Trump launches barrage of insults at critics, judge as trial begins

Former President Trump launched a barrage of posts on Truth Social criticizing Democrats and the judge in his now-starting trial in New York City.

Trump denounced Judge Juan Merchan as "crooked" Monday morning, complaining that the judge had issued a gag order.

"I want my VOICE back. This Crooked Judge has GAGGED me. Unconstitutional! The other side can talk about me, but I am not allowed to talk about them! Rigged Trial!" Trump wrote.

Trump went on to accuse Democrats of "cheating" in the 2024 election, claiming they played a role in launching the legal problems for Trump.

"The Radical Left Democrats are already cheating on the 2024 Presidential Election by bringing, or helping to bring, all of these bogus lawsuits against me, thereby forcing me to sit in courthouses, and spend money that could be used for campaigning, instead of being out in the field knocking Crooked Joe Biden, the WORST President in the History of the United States. Election Interference!," he wrote.

"As virtually every legal scholar has powerfully stated, the Biden Manhattan Witch Hunt Case is, among other things, BARRED by the Statute of Limitations. This “trial” should be ended by the highly conflicted presiding Judge," he added.

Jury selection begins later Monday in Trump's hush money payments case relating to pornography actress Stormy Daniels.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Five key questions on how start of Trump's first criminal trial will impact presidential campaign

Former President Donald Trump makes history on Monday, as he becomes the first current or former president in the nation's history to go on trial.

Trump's hush-money trial, which will get underway in a New York City courtroom, will have an instant impact on his 2024 election rematch with President Biden.

The former president — who is being tried on 34 state felony charges — is accused of falsifying business records in relation to hush-money payments during the 2016 election he made to Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about his alleged affair with the adult film actress.

Trump has repeatedly denied falsifying business records as well as the alleged sexual encounter with Daniels.

The former president's legal team has tried numerous times, unsuccessfully, to further delay or postpone the trial.

The unprecedented trial is the first of Trump's four criminal cases — including two for his alleged attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden and another for mishandling classified documents — to go to trial. And it may end up being the only case to wrap up with a verdict before the November election.

Here are five key questions about how the trial will impact the presidential campaign:

How long will the trial take and does Trump have to attend every day?

The trial is expected to last roughly six to eight weeks, starting with the beginning of jury selection on Monday. The proceedings are scheduled to take place weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday an off day.

The judge in the case, Juan Merchan, has indicated he may adjourn the trial for the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins on the evening of April 22

This is an excerpt from an article by Fox News' Paul Steinhauser

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Trump legal team could gain 'very significant advantage' in hush-money case, Jonathan Turley says

Fox News contributor and GWU Law professor Jonathan Turley explained on "Fox & Friends" Friday the legal card Trump's defense team could use to their advantage in the hush-money case, even though it may be met with "personal resistance" from the former president.

JONATHAN TURLEY:  The second issue involves a fairly standard motion that occurs when you believe that the jury may not agree that the big ticket item of a charge, the felonies, is proven, and you want the court to give an instruction saying you can always convict on a lesser included offense –  in this case a misdemeanor. Now, sometimes the defense doesn't want to do that. Sometimes they just want to leave the jury with the cliff option, thinking that they don't want to go over the cliff so they'll go ahead and acquit. But many times, this works in favor of the defense. For Trump, there could be personal resistance to even suggesting a possible misdemeanor conviction, but politically and legally, it would be a very significant advantage for him.

Trump's hush-money trial, which is set to begin on Monday, is the first of his four criminal indictments slated to go to trial and would be the first criminal trial ever of a former president.

He is accused of falsifying his company's records to hide the nature of payments to his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who helped Trump bury negative stories during his 2016 campaign. 

Cohen's activities included paying porn actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 to suppress her claims of an extramarital sexual encounter with Trump years earlier.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Questions about the Trump trial, answered

Former President Donald Trump’s hush money court case will kick off on Monday, marking the first time a former president will stand trial over criminal charges.

The historic trial will require Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for the 2024 election, to defend himself from the Manhattan courtroom while simultaneously campaigning as the election season heats up.

Fox News Digital compiled the top questions regarding the case ahead of it kicking off Monday at 10 a.m in Lower Manhattan.  

What are the origins of this case?

Dubbed the "hush money case," the trial’s origins reach back to October of 2016, when Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen paid former pornographic actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair she had with the then-real estate tycoon in 2006. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.

The case is also expected to feature two other payments, including a $30,000 payment to a Trump Tower doorman who claimed that Trump fathered a child out of wedlock, and arranged a $150,000 payment through a tabloid publisher to a former Playboy model named Karen McDougal, who also claimed she had an affair with Trump and sold her story to the tabloid. Trump has also vehemently denied these allegations.

What are the charges in the case?

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg announced Trump’s indictment in April of 2023 with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

The charges stem from checks reimbursing Cohen over a roughly 12-month period for paying Daniels in 2016. Cohen was separately arrested in 2018 and pleaded guilty to campaign finance charges and lying to Congress. He was sentenced to three years in prison and has since been released. 

Falsifying business records is a misdemeanor, but prosecutors are working to prove that Trump falsified records with an intent to commit or conceal a second crime, which would be a felony.

This is an excerpt from an article by Fox News' Emma Colton

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Trump sounds off as hush money case begins: 'This has never happened' before

Constitutional attorney Mark Smith joined 'Fox & Friends First' on Monday to discuss the importance of jury selection and de-selection in former President Trump's case and why it could be challenging for him to have a completely fair trial.

Trump himself also made a statement Sunday night ahead of Monday morning's trail, marking the unprecedented nature of the case.

"I will be fighting for myself but, much more importantly, I will be fighting for our Country. Election Interference like this has never happened in the USA before and, hopefully, will never happen again," Trump added. "We are now a Nation in serious Decline, a Failing Nation, but we will soon be a Great Nation Again. November 5th will be the most important day in the History of the United States. MAGA2024! SEE YOU TOMORROW."

Smith said Trump's lawyers will be working to sift out any aggressively anti-Trump members from the jury. He also predicted that Trump's team may have weeks for the jury selection process to play out, as District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Judge Juan Merchan are open to a long, drawn out trial.

Posted by Emma Colton

Jury selection begins in Trump trial over alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels

Former President Trump’s trial stemming from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into alleged hush-money payments ahead of the 2016 presidential election is set to begin Monday with jury selection.

The trial in New York City is the first of the election year for the 2024 presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Manhattan Judge Juan Merchan is presiding over the trial. Trump's legal team had filed a motion requesting that Merchan be recused from the trial due to his daughter's Democrat-affiliated political work and the judge's alleged "hostility" against the 2024 presumptive Republican presidential nominee. 

Bragg, last April, charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The charges are related to alleged hush-money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The DA alleged that Trump "repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election."

This is an excerpt from an article by Fox News' Brooke Singman

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Live Coverage begins here

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