Trump sues judge overseeing his hush money case

Trump sues judge overseeing his hush money case
Trump sues judge overseeing his hush money case

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - NEW YORK — Former US President Donald Trump is slated to attend court next week, as he faces criminal charges for allegedly falsifying business records.

In a likely bid to delay his trial, Donald Trump has sued the New York judge in his hush money criminal case — which is due to begin next week.

Trump asked an appellate court to change the location of the trial, according to BBC's US partner CBS News.

He is also asking to dismiss an expanded gag order that limits his ability to comment on the case, the media outlet has reported.

Trump faces felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records.

His latest lawsuit, a likely last-minute effort to keep the criminal case from moving forward, targets New York Justice Juan Merchan.

The lawsuit has not been made public and BBC has not been able to review it, but two legal filings with the titles "change of venue" and "stay" are visible in an online court database, according to CBS.

The BBC has contacted Trump's legal team for comment.

Trump's trial was already delayed from the end of March to April 15 due to the unexpected release of a batch of documents from federal prosecutors that lawyers in the case needed time to review.

The former president's legal team had sought to push back the trial to an even later date.

Trump was charged last year with a felony over a hush money payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, with whom he is accused of having an affair.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to falsifying business records, and he has continued to claim that this case and his other legal issues are the result of political persecution.

He has also complained about a gag order imposed on him by Justice Merchan, who is overseeing the trial.

Merchan initially imposed a gag order preventing Trump from commenting publicly about witnesses, jurors and others connected to the case.

But Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg asked to expand the order to cover the families of those involved in the case after Trump attacked the judge's daughter on social media.

"This pattern of attacking family members of presiding jurists and attorneys assigned to his cases serves no legitimate purpose," Merchan wrote in a ruling on the gag order.

Trump — the Republican presidential candidate for 2024 — has also complained about the setting of his trial in Manhattan, a borough with a large number of Democratic voters.

Experts told the BBC that jury selection for the trial, which is set to begin next Monday, could pose a challenge for Trump's legal team.

"It's doable, but it's going to be difficult," former Brooklyn prosecutor Julie Rendelman said.

Trump's hush money trial is one of four criminal cases he is facing, but it may be the only trial to take place before the upcoming presidential election in November. — BBC

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