Former President Donald Trump’s attorney said that the former president plans to attend Thursday’s court hearing in New York City in a case that accuses him of falsifying business records to hide so-called “hush money” payments.
“President Trump will be attending court in New York on Thursday,” President Trump’s attorney in a separate case in Georgia, Steve Sadow, said in a statement to some media outlets.
Michael Roman, President Trump’s co-defendant in the election interference case brought by Ms. Willis, has alleged that Mr. Wade paid for vacations with Ms. Willis using Fulton County funds that his private law firm received.
Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade have been subpoenaed to testify during a hearing set for Thursday by Fulton County Judge Scott McAffee, during which he’ll hear arguments on the matter, including whether the relationship resulted in financial gain for the pair.
The former president has denied any wrongdoing in the case, in which he faces criminal charges for allegedly conspiring to overturn the presidential election results in Georgia.
New York HearingIn the so-called “hush money” case, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted President Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records in order to conceal $130,000 in payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for keeping quiet about their alleged affair.
The former president is due in court in Manhattan on Feb. 15 for a pretrial hearing where final details about the trial are expected to be ironed out.
President Trump’s attorneys have asked the judge in the hush money case to postpone the scheduled March 25 trial start date, but so far, Judge Juan Merchan of the New York Supreme Court has resisted such calls.
President Trump has objected to the March 25 trial date because it falls in the middle of the primary season, with the former president being the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination.
“Very unfair, but this is exactly what the Radical Left Democrats wanted,” President Trump continued. “It’s called election interference, and nothing like this has ever happened in our country before!!!”Signs point to the New York case starting on time, with President Trump’s attorneys and prosecutors already discussing jury selection procedures with the judge, according to The Associated Press and other outlets.
What’s the Case About?Following President Trump’s arraignment in April 2023, the 16-page indictment and 13-page statement of facts allege that he falsified records related to multiple payments made to prevent the surfacing of negative information about him.
President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, said he made $130,000 in a number of separate payments to Stormy Daniels via a shell company that was then reimbursed by President Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, and recorded as legal expenses.
President Trump’s defense attorneys have signaled they intend to focus on the fact that Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to undermine his testimony.
A felony falsifying records charge that Mr. Bragg has charged President Trump with requires a prosecutor to prove that it was done to hide the commission of a second crime.
Under New York state law, falsifying business records by itself is a misdemeanor, but if the records fraud was used to cover up or commit another crime, the charge could be elevated to a felony.
A number of legal experts have challenged the validity of Mr. Bragg’s move to elevate the falsifying business records misdemeanor into a felony charge.
Mr. Barr said that Mr. Bragg seemed to have ginned up a technical misdemeanor into a felony, adding that this was something that federal prosecutors had earlier chosen not to prosecute as a campaign violation.
“So for the state DA to try to use this as a way of bootstrapping himself into a felony is sort of outrageous,” Mr. Barr said in an interview at the National Review Institute Ideas Summit.
“Judging from the news reports … it’s the archetypal abuse of the prosecutorial function to engage in a political hit job, and it’s a disgrace.”