Donald Trump Will Face His First Criminal Trial Before the Election

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The Stormy Daniels hush-money trial against Donald Trump will begin jury selection on April 15, ruled Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan on Monday.

This is Trump’s first criminal trial on the books, as it’s still unclear if others will take place before the election.

Outside the court, Trump slammed the decision, calling Merchan a “disgrace to this country” and claiming that the proceedings “should not be allowed to happen.”

The trial was initially scheduled to begin on Monday, but was delayed by 30 days after the U.S. Attorney’s office dumped more than 100,000 pages’ worth of documents on the trial, with more than 31,000 pages being released just days before the initial start date.

On Thursday, however, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declared that the document dump had amounted to a big nothingburger, estimating that just 270 documents are new and relevant to the case and that most of them implied guilt or corroborated existing evidence.

“The overwhelming majority of the production is entirely immaterial, duplicative or substantially duplicative of previously disclosed materials,” a filing by Bragg’s office said.

Still, Trump’s team attempted to argue that the district attorney was withholding information within the documents that could help Trump’s defense, alleging prosecutorial misconduct during the first half of Monday’s hearing—though Merchan didn’t have much patience for such serious allegations.

“That you don’t have a case right now is really disconcerting,” he said before the hearing went into recess. “You are literally accusing the Manhattan D.A.’s office and the people assigned to this case of prosecutorial misconduct.”

“The People went so far above and beyond what they were required to do that it’s odd that we’re even here,” he continued.

Trump is accused of using his former fixer Michael Cohen to sweep an affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He’s facing 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Cohen, who is anticipated to be a star witness in this trial, has no doubts that the former president will be found guilty in this case.

“I can tell you from everything I know about it, he’s going to be found guilty,” Cohen, the former Trump lawyer, said during The New Republic’s Stop Trump Summit in October.

It was a day of highs and lows for the former president, who also got a financial reprieve in his $464 million New York bank fraud disgorgement on Monday after a New York appellate court gave Trump an additional 10 days to pay a reduced $175 million bond.