‘Legally Absurd’: Donald Trump’s ‘Hush Money’ Trial Set to Get Underway Monday in Manhattan

There will undoubtedly be significant coverage of the unprecedented criminal trial of a former United States president, set to begin Monday in New York Supreme Court (the state’s trial court) in Manhattan. 

After initial reluctance (and a pass on prosecution by both his predecessor and the Department of Justice), District Attorney Alvin Bragg elected to bring a 34-count indictment against former President Donald Trump alleging that he falsified business records in relation to so-called “hush money” payments made to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. 


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Assuming the trial proceeds (I say “assuming” because all sorts of interesting twists and turns can crop up in the days and hours before a trial actually gets underway — and even during the trial — that could result in a delay), estimates are that it will last six to eight weeks. Jury selection alone could take a week or longer, particularly given Trump’s high profile and the publicity surrounding the case. Finding 12 jurors (and six alternates) who don’t already have strong opinions about the matter (and/or the players) will be no small feat. 

Trump will need to be present at trial every day, given that this is a criminal matter. His legal team for the trial includes Todd Blanche, a former federal prosecutor who’s also representing him in the Florida and D.C. federal criminal cases, Susan Necheles, who represented the Trump Organization in its 2022 trial, and Emil Bove, also a former federal prosecutor. 

Ahead of the trial, George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley joined Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” to give a preview of what’s in store, calling the prosecution “legally absurd.” 

As many have rightly pointed out, New York may not be the most hospitable venue for Trump — part of the reason his legal team sought to move the case out of Manhattan and into Staten Island. However, while the current jury pool will be drawn from an unquestionably blue jurisdiction, it’s also important to remember that Trump garnered 12 percent of that borough’s votes in 2020 (up 2.5 percent from 2016), to the extent jurors’ political predispositions will play a role in their determination. That, on top of the pretzel twists Bragg’s gone through to mount the prosecution, could offer a sliver of hope to the former president, particularly given that a conviction requires a unanimous verdict. 

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