A Judge in the Southern District of New York reportedly heard about three hours of testimony and oral arguments from former president Donald Trump’s team to move his ‘hush money’ case of a Manhattan courtroom to a federal court. The move comes after Trump’s 34-count indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
The ‘hush money’ case is focused on a payment the former president made to adult film star Stormy Daniels [pictured] during the 2016 campaign.
“The act for which the president has been indicted does not relate to anything under the color of his office,” Judge Alvin Halverstein said during the hearing as per ABC News, adding: “I intend to write and issue a decision within two weeks.” During the hearing in arguing to keep Trump’s criminal prosecution in Manhattan, a prosecutor said the former president’s funds had nothing to do with his official duties.
‘Trump in 2017 wrote monthly reimbursement checks to his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, from his funds having nothing to do with his official duties as president, the prosecutor, Mathew Colangelo, said as against the federal court, where Trump’s defense attorneys say it belongs. He added, ‘Writing personal checks, even if he did it in the Oval Office, is not an official act.’
“The president’s duties are not all-encompassing,” Colangelo, continued, according to ABC News. “We know the president can, even when he’s president, have personal papers.” Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor argued that Team Trump filing a $500 million lawsuit against Cohen, his former lawyer, was the perfect strategy because he believes it’ll help his case and hurt Bragg.
However, Judge Halverstein indicated he wasn’t inclined to agree to make the hush money case federal.
And while Trump who pleaded not guilty to all 34 charges, might not be successful in moving to a federal courtroom, Dershowitz says his team has already made one good move against Cohen, who testified before the Manhattan grand jury that indicated Trump on criminal charges of falsifying business records related to Daniels. Dershowitz insisted the lawsuit against Cohen is a legitimate move and that should have been done.
“Good move. Good move. First of all, lawyers should not be violating lawyer-client privilege, number one. Number two, he gets a discovery if he survives a motion to dismiss, and he is going to be able to find out things the government wouldn’t turn over to him in a criminal trial. So I think it’s a very smart move to go after Trump,” Dershowitz said. “It’s very hard these days to hide things forever. With the internet, with social media, if you get the right people, you can get things that people think they have hidden.”
“So, I’m glad we are going to get to the bottom of this. Look transparency is essential. If people have nothing to hide, they shouldn’t be worried,” Dershowitz added. In his lawsuit, Trump said Cohen violated attorney-client privilege by sharing confidential details and spreading lies about him with an intention to wholly self-serving ends. The former president is seeking over $500 million in actual compensatory, incidental, and punitive damage, including any profits he made from his podcast and books.
“Plaintiff has suffered vast reputational harm as a direct result of Defendant’s breaches. Defendant derived a significant benefit, to Plaintiff’s detriment and at Plaintiff’s expense, as a direct result of his breach of fiduciary duty, including, without limitation, the realization of substantial monetary gain in the form of compensation, advances, royalties, proceeds and/or profits received for his role in the writing, publication, promotion, and/or sale of the Books,” the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida stated.
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