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Trump wins lower bond in civil case; NY criminal trial set for April

Jury selection had initially been set for Monday, but the trial was put on hold so lawyers could examine tens of thousands of pages of new evidence.
Trump faces deadline to make bond as he also fights hush-money case
Posted at 6:35 AM, Mar 25, 2024

A judge in New York decided Monday that the hush-money trial involving former President Donald Trump will begin on April 15. 

Trump appeared in court Monday morning for a hearing in the case, which accuses the former president of making payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels in exchange for staying silent about their alleged affair. Jury selection had initially been set for Monday, but the trial was put on hold so lawyers could examine tens of thousands of pages of new evidence from a previous federal investigation.

Trump's lawyers wanted a delay of at least three more months, pushing the trial even further into this year's campaign season. Ultimately, a judge agreed to keep the start of jury selection on April 15. 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has alleged that Trump falsified records in an effort to prevent damaging stories from emerging during the 2016 presidential campaign. Bragg says Trump falsified records to hide payments to attorney Michael Cohen for him to pay Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal and former doorman Dino Sajudin. 

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The trial date was not the only legal news Trump received on Monday. The former president also learned he will not have to come up with a $454 million bond after all. A New York appeals court gave Trump 10 days to come up with a $175 million bond to satisfy the judgment in the civil fraud case.  

"We will abide by the decision of the Appellate Division, and post either a bond, equivalent securities, or cash," Trump said in a statement. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James was prepared to seize some of Trump's assets prior to the appeals court's ruling. 

Trump's attorneys argued before Monday that forcing Trump to give up assets could have damaged the former president. "Obtaining such cash through a 'fire sale' of real estate holdings would inevitably result in massive, irrecoverable losses — textbook irreparable injury," his lawyers wrote in a court filing last week.

The fines stem from Trump allegedly overinflating the value of his assets in order to secure more favorable loan terms and lower insurance premiums. The February ruling gave the former president 30 days to either secure a bond while the case is under appeal or pay the full amount owed. 

Monday's decision also means Trump's appeal of the over $450 million judgment against him will continue.

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