Prosecutors in Manhattan argued before a judge that granting Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss criminal charges linked to a hush money payment would be an abuse of the former president’s position of power and would allow him to avoid responsibility.
And prosecutors have said that this year’s investigation yielded fresh information from “campaign insiders” that further supports their claim that Trump is guilty of paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels and then covering it up.
Trump submitted a motion to dismiss the indictment last month, citing a number of reasons for doing so, including that it was filed six years after the alleged cover-up in an effort to influence the 2024 presidential race.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office argued that Judge Juan Merchan should ignore the defense’s claims and apply the law uniformly.
The district attorney’s office stated, “Defendant repeatedly suggests that because he is a current presidential candidate, the ordinary rules for criminal law and procedure should be applied differently here.” According to the judge, “this argument is essentially an attempt to evade criminal responsibility because defendant is politically powerful.”
Trial is set to begin in March 2024, and the DA claims Trump has not fulfilled his commitments by submitting the necessary paperwork. Among the questions, prosecutors say, is whether Trump will call any expert witnesses in campaign finance, which was addressed as a potential defence during a pre-indictment meeting earlier this year.
To prevent Stormy Daniels from disclosing her affair with Donald Trump before the 2016 presidential election, Trump was charged in March with falsifying business records to commit or conceal another crime, which prosecutors claim was part of a cover up scheme to hide reimbursement payments made to Michael Cohen. Trump has denied all 34 accusations against him and entered a not guilty plea.
Statements from ‘campaign insiders’ are said to be in the DA’s possession.
In the filing Thursday, prosecutors defended their case, writing in a section with multiple redactions that they have testimony from “campaign insiders” that back up their allegation that Trump’s intent in entering into the hush money and reimbursement scheme was to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Prosecutors cited this testimony as “additional powerful evidence of defendant’s criminal intent,” both during the execution of the election fraud plot by defendant and his associates and again when he attempted to conceal the scheme by fabricating business records.
Noting that the grand jury heard testimony that public opinion affects Trump’s “ability to focus on policy priorities,” prosecutors also pointed to evidence that may lead the grand jury to infer that Trump was trying to cheat election authorities. The court document was amended to remove certain details.
Prosecutors say Trump may have attempted to violate election law, tax law, and other corporate record keeping rules by falsifying documents.
One of Trump’s frequent complaints about District Attorney Alvin Bragg is that charges weren’t filed until six years after the payment and reimbursement plan had been carried out. However, prosecutors have said that former President Trump is partially to responsible for the delay.
The People did not press charges sooner because, most importantly, there were good grounds for waiting. The defendant completely disregards the many difficulties, many of which were created by him, that slowed down the People’s investigation and caused them to delay bringing accusations.
Trump took a lawsuit to the US Supreme Court twice over a subpoena for his tax records. The judge sided with the prosecutor.
Trump has issued a subpoena for Michael Cohen, and DA wants to stop it.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney and now adversary, is the target of a subpoena that Bragg’s office is attempting to have quashed.
Trump subpoenaed Cohen for years of interactions he has had with investigators and others as well as his tax data and draughts of his books, which have been scathing of the former president. The prosecution claims Trump is seeking to collect evidence to support his now-defunct $500 million lawsuit accusing Cohen of breaching his obligations as Trump’s attorney. Trump has hinted that he would bring the lawsuit again.
Prosecutors stated in a separate filing on Thursday that “Defendant’s subpoena to Cohen is an extraordinarily broad document demand that exceeds every parameter on the allowable scope of a trial subpoena.”
In order to defend themselves against the 34-count criminal indictment, Trump’s legal team has reportedly already received contacts with Cohen, Cohen’s grand jury testimony, and other pertinent papers from Bragg’s office.