Judge Rebukes Trump’s Last-Ditch Attempt To Move His Criminal Case Somewhere Else

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In a recent hearing in federal court, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein expressed intense opposition to the idea from the legal team for former President Donald Trump of moving his Manhattan criminal case to the federal court system. That criminal case was the first to be unveiled against Trump and concerns allegedly falsified business records stemming from hush money that was provided to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

At present, the New York judge who is handling the criminal proceedings against Trump is Juan Merchan, who was also involved in the criminal case from the same local prosecutor against the Trump family business and its longtime financial lead, Allen Weisselberg. Prosecutors prevailed in both arms of that case, and Weisselberg — known as a close ally to Trump — was sentenced to months in prison after offenses revolving around the concealment of benefits at the Trump family business that should have been taxed. The new criminal case against Trump himself focuses on allegedly falsified business records that concealed the actual purpose of reimbursements to Michael Cohen after that former longtime ally of the ex-president produced the actual money for Stormy Daniels.

Hellerstein has not yet produced a final ruling in the push from the former president for moving his case, but his stance during the hearing that was recently held was clear. In broad terms, he rejected the idea that the circumstances surrounding Cohen were meaningfully connected to Trump’s stint as president, which could have made the matter subject to the jurisdictions of the federal court system.

“There is no reason to believe that an equal measure of justice couldn’t be rendered by the state court,” Hellerstein said, per The New York Times — so yeah, the direction his written ruling will take when it soon emerges seems already to be pretty clear. The judge separately described Cohen’s formal hiring by Trump as the ex-presidential associate having been “hired as a private matter to take care of private matters.” Read more at this link.