‘Not a Crime,’ Trump Says of Biden-Driven Hush Money Trial

Donald Trump was furious outside of a Manhattan courthouse on Thursday morning after a judge denied his motion to dismiss and ruled that the hush-money trial involving Trump’s payments to two women will move forward, beginning March 25.

Trump ranted to reporters that the trial is moving forward at the insistence of President Joe Biden, asserting that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg didn’t want to bring the case, though it’s possible Trump meant Bragg’s predecessor Cyrus Vance Jr., who declined to pursue criminal charges over Trump’s efforts to cover up the extramarital affairs.

“It’s not a crime. This is not a crime,” Trump said. “And when you look at what’s going on outside the streets where violent crime is at an all-time high. I think it’s a very, very — it’s a great double standard. The other thing, this case could be brought three years ago. There is no case. They decided not to bring in the district attorney. Bragg didn’t want to bring it. He said he doesn’t want to bring this case. But it’s not a crime. We’re here for something that is not a crime.”

The case centers on Trump’s alleged payoffs to two women, porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, and declaring the payments as legal expenses. Trump’s lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $130,000 and arranged for the publisher of the National Enquirer supermarket tabloid to pay McDougal $150,000 in a practice known as “catch-and-kill.”

Bragg charged Trump last year with falsifying internal records kept by his company, the Trump Organization.

With Judge Juan Manuel Merchan’s ruling that jury selection will begin March 25, it will mark the first of four criminal prosecutions to get underway against Trump. The federal trial in Washington, D.C., charging Trump with plotting to overturn the 2020 election results is on hold pending appeals of Trump’s case for immunity.

Trump, who has denied the sexual encounters with either woman, entered the courthouse shortly before 9 a.m. on Thursday. He came out of the courthouse charged up.

“What it is is election interference. It’s being run by Joe Biden, his White House. His top person was placed here in order to make sure everything goes right. This is a terrible time for our country,” Trump went on.

“… With all of this being said, I look outside, I look at history. It’s so different from when I left New York. It’s so different. It’s dirty and it’s crime-ridden. And today you walk down the street, you get mugged or you get shot. And they are doing this where literally legal experts, legal scholars said they don’t understand that there’s no crime and there was no crime here at all,” Trump said.

Trump has accused Merchan in the past as a “Trump-hating judge.”

Merchan has acknowledged past donations to Democrats.

Trump, however, is running away with the Republican presidential primary.

“This is just a way of hurting me in the election because I’m leading by a lot,” he said. “We’re leading by numbers that nobody’s ever seen before, and they figure this is their way of cheating this time. Last time, they had a different way. This time, they have something that’s really down and dirty that, no, frankly, no country does other than a third-world country, a banana republic. So we’re going to do our process. They want to rush it because they want to get it desperately before the election come back in because before the election, that’s what they want to do. They don’t care.

“After the election, they wouldn’t have brought this except for the fact. No way. Except for the fact I’m running for president and doing well. If I were doing poorly, they wouldn’t have brought it. And frankly, if I didn’t run, they would have been extremely happy because they don’t like me running and they don’t like the numbers.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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