New York () — Donald Trump’s lawyers continue the legal battle to transfer Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal case against the former president to federal court.
Trump’s lawyers initially filed a motion to take the case to federal court last May, arguing that the charges are related to his duties as president. Bragg’s office has pointed out that Trump’s alleged hush-pay scheme was largely executed before the millionaire became president and wants to keep the case in New York state Supreme Court.
A hearing is scheduled for June 27 in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, a appointee of former President Bill Clinton.
On Thursday, Trump’s lawyers asked Hellerstein to deny Bragg’s motion to return the case to the state Supreme Court.
“A criminal case is transferable to federal court when a federal official is charged with conduct for or in connection with any act committed under a federal charge that arises under cover of office and identifies an admissible federal defense.” point out the documents presented this Thursday.
Trump was charged in April with 34 felony falsifying business records for allegedly reimbursing then-attorney Michael Cohen for hush payments made during the 2016 campaign to women who claimed they had extramarital affairs with Trump, something he denies. . Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
While denying the alleged payment scheme, Trump’s team says the allegations would violate federal campaign finance laws rather than state laws.
“Such an alleged scheme, while non-existent, could only violate federal, not state, campaign finance laws, as both federal case law and the New York State Board of Elections have made clear,” the lawyers wrote in the newly filed documents. . “Indeed, the federal preemption is a classic example of a federal defense justifying relocation.”
Litigation over transfer of the case to federal court has not prevented the case from continuing, currently before Judge Juan Merchan in the New York State Supreme Court. Merchan has set a date for the New York County trial for March 25, 2024, so the trial could take place in the midst of the Republican presidential primary season early next year.