Trump Faces Dual Challenges with ‘Hush Money’ Criminal Case Hearing and Ruling in $370M Fraud Trial this Week

Credits: NBC News

Donald Trump is facing a pivotal week in New York courts, with a hearing scheduled in the Manhattan District Attorney’s “hush money” criminal case that he is required to attend on Thursday, followed by a potentially impactful ruling expected on Friday in a $370 million fraud suit against him.

The former president, 77, is set to appear in Manhattan Supreme Court, where Justice Juan Merchan will address any final pretrial matters and confirm whether the proceedings will commence as planned next month.

If the trial does proceed on March 25, it would mark the beginning of four criminal cases against Trump, as he pursues a return to the White House in November while facing the specter of potential prison time.

Donald Trump (Credits: Axios)

Meanwhile, just a few doors down from the courthouse where the criminal trial will be held, a significant decision is anticipated in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil case.

The case accuses Trump of inflating his net worth by billions annually to secure better loan and insurance terms. Justice Arthur Engoron’s ruling, expected on Friday, could have far-reaching implications for Trump’s business empire and financial well-being.

The ruling follows three months of testimony last year, including testimony from Trump and his children Eric, Donald Jr., and Ivanka.

In the criminal case, Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, related to alleged “hush money” payments, including to Stormy Daniels, to conceal extramarital affairs during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump maintains his innocence in this and the other criminal cases against him in Georgia, Florida, and Washington D.C.

While hearings are also scheduled in the Georgia election fraud case on Thursday and Friday, Trump is not expected to attend.

His co-defendant, Mike Roman, is set to call witnesses, potentially including Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and lead Trump prosecutor Nathan Wade. Roman seeks to dismiss the charges against him or remove Willis from the case, citing her relationship with Wade.

Throughout these legal challenges, Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing, characterizing the cases as politically motivated attacks orchestrated by President Biden and the left.

In a recent post on his Truth Social platform, Trump accused Biden of illegally weaponizing government agencies against him, labeling it a political vendetta.