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Trump wants to sit out his next court appearance. The judge presiding over his case says all defendants have to show up and he’s no different.

Donald TrumpFormer President Donald Trump sits at the defense table with his defense team in a Manhattan court, Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool

  • Donald Trump’s lawyers asked if he could skip future court date appearances. 
  • His request was denied by the judge overseeing the case. 
  • Trump faces 34 felony counts after a probe into a 2016 “hush-money” payment to Stormy Daniels.

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer asked the judge overseeing his Manhattan criminal case during Tuesday’s arraignment if he really needs to come to New York again for the next hearing.

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan told the Trump lawyers that he expects that “all other defendants to appear in court, even high profile defendants” and would not be making an exception for the former president. 

Todd Blanche, one of three attorneys representing Trump, who faces 34 felony counts for first-degree falsifying business records, argued that Trump’s appearances in court were “extraordinarily burdensome and expensive on the city.” 

“All of lower Manhattan was shut down today,” Blanche told Merchan, according to transcripts of the hearing.

Trump Tower, as well as the area near the Manhattan courthouse, had barricades and “Do Not Park” signs placed by authorities ahead of the former president’s appearance in court.

The judge agreed that securely getting Trump to the Manhattan court was a “huge undertaking today for everyone involved” and said that lawyers could consult him in the future should something unexpected come up that would make Trump unable to attend court.

“I think in the interest of transparency and assuring the rules of law evenhandedly, at this time I’m going to deny your application,” Merchan said in court.

Merchan scheduled the next hearing in the case for December 4, where he will hear arguments to decide whether to dismiss any of the charges.

The timing could present problems for Trump’s presidential campaign, which will be entering the final stretch before the Iowa caucuses.

The case is the result of a years-long investigation into the former president’s finances and business dealings as he was running for office in 2016. 

Prosecutors allege that Trump authorized Michael Cohen, his personal attorney at the time, to pay the adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 “before the election to prevent her from publicizing a sexual encounter” with Trump. Daniels has claimed she had an affair with Trump in 2006, an allegation the former president has consistently denied. 

Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to arranging the payment and received a three year prison sentence. He was released early due to COVID-19 concerns.

Trump on Tuesday entered a plea of not guilty for each of the 34 charges against him. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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