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NY judge sets March 25 trial date for Trump 'hush money' case, denies motion to dismiss

Trump pleaded not guilty in April 2023 to all 34 state felony charges connected to the alleged hush money scandal.

Published: February 15, 2024 9:15am

Updated: February 15, 2024 12:55pm

Former President Donald Trump is set to go to trial on March 25 in New York on charges related to his alleged role in a hush money scandal before the 2016 election after a judge on Thursday denied his motions to dismiss. 

Judge Juan M. Merchan denied Trump's motions to dismiss and said jury selection in the trial will begin March 25, per The New York Times.

Trump pleaded not guilty in April 2023 to all 34 state felony charges connected to the former president's alleged role in payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal.

Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, argued that the former president's legal team has been so focused on preparing for his federal trial in D.C. that it did not have time to prepare for the state trial. 

Merchan cut Blanche off and said: "You’re not telling me anything you didn’t already include in your prior request for a conference."

Blanche voiced concerns about whether jurors would be impartial to Trump, and he said he plans on asking for a change of venue from Manhattan, where Trump won about 12% of the vote in the 2020 presidential election.

On the potential questionnaire for potential jurors, prosecutors said they are attempting to add questions about which news outlets people follow, such as the Alex Jones show and the Ben Shapiro show, to better understand their political leanings.

Trump is attending court in New York on the same day that a judge in Georgia is holding a hearing on whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be disqualified over allegations she benefited financially from her romantic relationship with the prosecutor she appointed in the case. 

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