Judge’s Rulings Give ‘Signal’ Of Trump’s Trial Kicking Off Next Month, Expert Says

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In former President Donald Trump’s New York criminal case accusing him of falsifying business records in connection to hush money given to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 elections, Judge Juan Merchan, who is set to handle the trial, decided this week to allow testimony from Daniels, ex-Trump fixer Michael Cohen, and Karen McDougal.

McDougal was another recipient of what’s been deemed hush money, though hers came in the form of a pay-off from a source outside Trump’s closest circles purchasing rights to her story. Both Daniels and McDougal allegedly had affairs with Trump, precipitating the payments. Cohen, meanwhile, produced the money for Daniels, and the allegedly falsified Trump business records related to repayments for the then-Trump lawyer.

Norm Eisen of Brookings, a think tank/policy organization, suggested that Merchan’s decisions were a probable sign of Trump’s trial moving forward next month.

“BREAKING: in the New York election interference case the judge has ruled on the motions in limine,” Eisen posted Monday on X (formerly called Twitter). “It’s a disaster for Trump and a home run for the DA[.] Probably a signal that trial will proceed in April.”

Trial was originally scheduled to start this month before a delay spurred by a transfer of evidentiary materials from a federal prosecutor’s office. Even with the delay, this trial looks set to be Trump’s first amid his four criminal cases. That was at one point going to be his trial on federal criminal allegations of attempted election interference before extensive delays forced by Trump claiming in appeals to hold wide-ranging legal protections by mere virtue of once serving as president that supposedly stop the case.

Trump, meanwhile, is also facing problems in his New York civil case that successfully alleged a pattern of business fraud. Court filings recently revealed that dozens of companies rebuffed his search for a bond agreement covering hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties that is required under current practice to stave off collections amid appeals.