Donald Trump to face first criminal trial in March

2 months ago

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Former US President Donald Trump is set to face his first criminal trial in New York on March 25 after a judge ruled against his motion to dismiss an indictment stemming from an alleged “hush money” payment to former adult film star Stormy Daniels on Thursday.

According to reports, Judge Juan Merchan ruled that Trump will stand trial in at least one of the four criminal cases during a heated hearing in a Manhattan court on Thursday morning.

The ruling comes almost a year after a March 23 verdict by a grand jury to indict Trump on 34 felony counts of falsification of business records.

It’s alleged that Daniels was paid a sum of $130,000 US by Trump’s lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, to prevent her from publicly speaking about their reported sexual encounters a decade prior in the run-up to the 2016 US election.

Prosecutors argued that Cohen also arranged for the publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid to pay McDougal $150,000 in a practice known as “catch-and-kill, ” CBC news reports.

It’s further reported that Cohen was paid $420,000 by Trump’s company, which was logged as a “Legal expense and not reimbursements”.

Trump has vehemently proclaimed innocence against allegations. The March trial is reportedly set to be an unprecedented moment in US history as the first time a former Head of State faces criminal proceedings.