/ 26 March 2024

Trump’s legal woes come to a head

Image source: Flickr
Image source: Flickr

The Squiz

Former US President Donald Trump’s first criminal trial was set to begin in New York overnight, but his lawyers have successfully argued for it to be postponed until 15 April when a jury will be selected. It’s the so-called ‘hush money trial’ where he’s facing 34 felony charges and is one of 4 criminal cases Trump has on the go. And as his legal team worked through that, the bond amount in his civil case was reduced from the $700 million they’d been ordered to cough up to $268 million…

So he’s got a bit on the go…

Yep, so let’s start with the criminal trial. The case has been brought by the New York District Attorney’s office, which accused him of “falsifying New York business records to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters” during the 2016 election campaign. This is about alleged payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy bunny Karen McDougal… Earlier this month, his lawyers secured a 30-day postponement after 170,000 documents related to Michael Cohen – Trump’s former lawyer and ’fix-it’ man – were handed over. Trump’s lawyers say the documents are “exculpatory and favourable” to their client, but prosecutors say they’re “largely irrelevant to the case”. And while a start date has been set, Trump’s lawyers say they’ll appeal the decision to hold the trial before the US election.

And what about the money he owes?

That’s to do with the New York civil case which found Trump, his 2 eldest sons and other Trump Organisation executives guilty of fraud after lying about the value of the company’s property portfolio. On Sunday, Eric Trump (aka the Trump Organization’s VP) slammed the size of the original bond. “Every single person, when I came to them saying ‘hey, can I get a half-billion-dollar bond?’, they were laughing,” he said. So, long story short, they couldn’t come up with the money… His assets were in the sights of New York Attorney-General Letitia James, who was set to begin seizing estates and golf courses, but overnight, Trump’s camp was given a reprieve when the bond amount was significantly reduced. He has 10 days to come up with the dosh but he says it won’t be a problem and he’ll pay in cash. “I don’t need to borrow money – I have a lot of money,” he said.

If you want to catch up on the details behind Donald Trump’s hush money criminal trial, we’ve got just the Shortcut for you. Get it in your ears here.

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