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Trump seethes after New York trial set for April 15

Former President Trump fumed Monday over his legal troubles after a New York judge scheduled an April 15 start date for his hush money trial despite Trump’s efforts to postpone the case.

Trump, speaking down the street from the Manhattan courthouse after the judge’s ruling, railed against the 2016 hush money case and his legal problems more broadly as a matter of “election interference” that should not be allowed during a campaign season.

“I don’t know how you can have a trial that’s going on right in the middle of an election. Not fair. Not fair. It’s not fair at all,” he said, calling the cases against him “ridiculous” and “a shame.”

Trump spoke to reporters on a significant day in his legal proceedings. In addition to a trial date being set in the hush money case, a five-judge state appeals court panel in a Monday ruling said it would pause the enforcement of the $464 million judgment against Trump, the Trump Organization and top executives, with interest, if within 10 days they post a $175 million bond.

The former president said he would abide by the decision and post the bond, while ripping Judge Arthur Engoron, who oversaw the civil fraud trial.

Trump broadly decried the cases against him as “election interference” and connected them all to President Biden, though there is no evidence Biden has played any role in the numerous legal proceedings.

In addition to the New York cases, Trump is facing felony charges in Washington, D.C., and Georgia over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, and he is facing felony charges in Florida over his handling and retention of classified materials.

The legal cases have consumed Trump’s campaign for the White House. Millions of dollars in campaign cash has been spent on lawyers and legal fees, leaving Trump at a significant cash disadvantage.

And Trump has repeatedly suggested court dates have kept him from the campaign trail, though he has held only one rally since becoming the presumptive GOP nominee earlier this month.

“They can’t win an election because of the borders, because of energy prices, because of inflation, because of Afghanistan … he can’t win because of Russia, Russia, Russia, because of all the problems, because of Ukraine being attacked by Russia, and he can’t win because of the Oct. 7 attack of Israel, which he should have never allowed to happen,” Trump said of Biden.

“So what they do is they do election interference, which is court cases, and let’s try and tie him up and let’s take as much of his money as possible,” he added.

The former president said Engoron and New York Attorney General Letitia James “ought to be looked at.” And he complained that Judge Juan Merchan, who is handling the hush money case, “cannot go fast enough. He wants to get it started so badly.”

Still, Trump signaled he would try to appeal the decision to start the hush money case April 15.

“This is not an act of criminality. I don’t know if we’re having one,” he said. “We’re going to be appealing. We did nothing wrong, just like I did nothing wrong in the other case.”

Trump told reporters Monday he would have “no problem testifying” if the trial goes forward. Asked if a possible conviction could derail his reelection bid, Trump suggested it could have the opposite effect.

“It could also make me more popular, because the people know it’s a scam,” Trump said.

The Biden campaign in a statement called Trump “weak and desperate.”

“His campaign can’t raise money, he is uninterested in campaigning outside his country club, and every time he opens his mouth, he pushes moderate and suburban voters away with his dangerous agenda,” campaign spokesperson James Singer said in a statement. “America deserves better than a feeble, confused, and tired Donald Trump.”

Updated at 2:44 p.m.

Source: The Hill

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