Trump on Trial

Legal teams will now spend months preparing for Donald Trump's case

Legal teams have months before the next in-person hearing in Trump's hush money case.

Legal teams will now spend months preparing for Donald Trump's case
Evan Vucci / AP
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Former President Donald Trump's legal team has just about four months to file any motions in his 34-felony count indictment. That could include a request to dismiss the charges — or move the venue of the trial.

Trump’s defense will spend the next few months going through discovery — gaining access to materials the district attorney used in the indictment.

That includes the documentation the prosecution intends to use.

The judge is expected to rule on those motions at the next in-person hearing in December – where he could also set a trial date.

Trump is accused of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment from lawyer Michael Cohen to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

The deal was allegedly designed to hide a sex scandal from voters in the 2016 election by silencing her claim of an affair.

The district attorney also accuses Trump of mischaracterizing the payments for tax purposes and discussing repayment with Cohen inside the Oval Office.

"The scheme violated New York election law which makes it a crime to conspire to promote a candidacy by unlawful means,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “The $130,000 wire payment exceeded the federal campaign contribution cap."

The consensus among legal experts is the case may be challenging to prove.

Michael Scotto is a former chief with the District Attorney's office. He attended the arraignment.

"I don't know that this is a case that the D.A. can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, you know, based on what the theories are,” Scotto said.

The judge did not impose a gag order in the case, but he did warn Trump to avoid making comments that were inflammatory or could cause civil unrest.

Even so, after a low-key court appearance, Trump returned to combative form in his speech at Mar-a-Lago.

"The criminal is the district attorney because he illegally leaked massive amounts of grand jury information for which he should be prosecuted or at a minimum he should resign,” Trump said.

The prosecution wants this case to go to trial in January of next year, while Trump's team is pushing for spring of 2024, when the primary season will be well underway.

5 takeaways from Donald Trump's indictment documents
5 takeaways from Donald Trump's indictment documents

5 takeaways from Donald Trump's indictment documents

During his 2016 campaign, Trump hired a media company that managed negative publicity and paid people to keep quiet, according to the indictment.

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