Former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial date has been set for March 25, right in the middle of the primary season, by a Manhattan judge, as reported by The Associated Press.
The trial revolves around an investigation into alleged hush money payments made through forged business records.
During a virtual court hearing, Judge Juan Merchan ordered Trump to cancel all other plans for the trial, which could last for weeks, leading to frustration on the part of the former president.
Trump took to Truth Social, his social media platform, to express his discontent and argue that the judge had violated his First Amendment rights.
Trump calls set trial date ‘election interference’
In his post on Truth Social, Trump wrote, “Just had New York County Supreme Court hearing where I believe my First Amendment Rights, ‘Freedom of Speech,’ have been violated, and they forced upon us a trial date of March 25th, right in the middle of Primary season”.
“Very unfair, but this is exactly what the Radical Left Democrats wanted. It’s called ELECTION INTERFERENCE, and nothing like this has ever happened in our Country before!!!”
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Court date not a violation of ‘first amendment’- Legal Scholars
However, Trump’s claims of election interference have been met with skepticism by legal scholars.
They argue that scheduling a trial does not necessarily constitute interference or a violation of the First Amendment.
The court’s decision is based on legal procedures and considerations rather than political motivations.
‘Trump aware of trial date before hearing’ – Necheles
Trump’s attorney, Susan Necheles, confirmed that the former president was aware of the trial date before the hearing.
Court order violates freedom of speech, Trump’s lawyers argue
On May 8, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office requested that the judge limit Trump’s ability to make social media posts about evidence gathered through discovery in the case.
The judge granted the request, and Trump’s lawyers have argued that the order violates his Freedom of Speech.
This is not the first time Judge Merchan has issued an order regarding Trump’s social media posts.
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Trump pleads not guilty to 34 charges
A Manhattan grand jury issued the indictment against Trump on March 30, and he pleaded not guilty to 34 charges on April 4.
The case has been ongoing for several years and focuses on the alleged $130,000 hush payments made to former porn star actress Stormy Daniels.
Further investigations into ‘alleged affair’ and ‘forged business records’
Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, reportedly made the payments to ensure Daniels’ silence about an alleged affair between her and Trump.
The investigation also examines whether the former president reimbursed Cohen through forged business records.
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Trump’s trial date raises concern about ‘potential electoral interference’
The scheduling of Trump’s trial date during the primary season adds another layer of complexity to an already highly contentious political environment.
It raises concerns about potential electoral interference and challenges the former president’s political engagements during this crucial period.
As the trial unfolds, it will undoubtedly draw significant attention and impact the political landscape.