New York (AP) – Donald Trump Lawyers asked a federal court to appeal his criminal case in New York. They argued Thursday that the former president cannot appear in state court where his historic indictment is located He was brought in because the alleged behavior occurred in the line of duty.
In court documents, Trump’s lawyers said the criminal case “concerns significant federal matters,” including alleged violations of federal election law. Federal officers, including former presidents, have the right to be tried in federal court on charges arising from “conduct performed while in office,” the attorneys said.
Echoing Trump’s claim that his indictment is “politically motivated,” Attorney Susan Nechelis urged the federal court to exercise its “protective jurisdiction” and move the case out of state courts where Manhattan Attorney General Alvin Bragg regularly practices.
Such requests are rarely granted in criminal cases, though Trump’s request is unprecedented because he is the first former president to be charged with a crime..
“It’s very unlikely that these efforts will ever succeed,” said Rebecca Robb, a professor at New York Law School. “It’s not even clear if that would be a particularly effective delaying tactic.”
Moving the case might give Trump some advantages, such as a larger and more politically diverse jury — but the fundamentals of the case would remain largely intact.
Derek Mueller, a law professor at the University of Iowa, said the Manhattan attorney general’s office will continue to prosecute and state law will remain in effect, but under the supervision of a federal judge.
“It’s just a change in the courts,” Mueller said.
Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, first raised the possibility of taking the case to federal court during a state court hearing Thursday, where a judge said he had limited Trump’s access to certain evidence, at the request of prosecutors.
But Judge Juan Manuel Merchan said he would not issue a gag order or prevent Trump from speaking publicly about the case.
Trump’s lawyers faced a Thursday deadline to file papers with a view to moving the case forward — 30 days after he was found guilty in state court on April 4, where he pleaded not guilty to 34 counts. Falsification of business records.
A federal judge will now assess whether to grant the request. While this is in effect, the case will continue in state court and all prior trial deadlines will remain in effect.
“It is possible to bring a lawsuit at the state level in federal court, but the grounds are limited and none of them appear to apply in this case,” said Roep, the former Manhattan District Attorney.
The prosecution did not respond to the request during Thursday’s session. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg The office issued a statement saying it was studying the request to dismiss the case and would provide an “appropriate response” to the court.
The criminal charges relate to payments made by Trump’s company to his former attorney, Michael Cohen. Prosecutors say those payments, made primarily in 2017 when Trump was president, were to compensate Cohen and him for organizing silent payments. During the 2016 campaign to bury allegations of extramarital sex.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan previously investigated and charged only one person: Cohen, who pleaded guilty to violating a federal campaign finance law in the context of silent payments. Cohen is a key witness In the state trump.
Trump, a Republican, has denied any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty.
Earlier in Thursday’s hearing, the judge sought to broker a settlement between attorneys and prosecutors for Trump, who had raised concerns that he would use evidence obtained through the discovery process. Before trial to attack witnesses and other participants in the case, as he has done in the past. .
Merchan, who was the target of Trump’s social media wrath over the indictment, has not adjudicated prosecutors’ request for a so-called protection order. But he indicated he wanted to balance the sanctity of the matter with the safety of those involved and Trump’s rights to free speech.
Trump’s fame and trumpet make him different from other defendants, the judge said, but “with it comes the responsibility that his words, especially when used in the form of rhetoric, can have consequences.”
Blanche said Trump was not looking for evidence on social media and did not oppose a prosecutor’s request, based in part on security concerns, that information about the attorney general’s office staff be kept secret until the trial begins.
Once in office, Merchan said, he will hold a hybrid conference — lawyers in court, Trump appeared on video — where he will brief him on the dos and don’ts of his impending order.
Merchan asked the defense and prosecution to agree on a trial date in February or March 2024. If the transfer to federal court does not happen, it could lead to Trump, who is returning to the White House, being sent to court during the primaries. Next year.
William Dow III, a Connecticut attorney for more than 50 years, said he had never heard of a state criminal case being referred to federal court. He said such moves are a delaying ploy.
“Sometimes people who want to escape from their problems take whatever means are available, subtle or not. I think this (Trump case) is subject to this interpretation.
Associated Press reporter Dave Collins in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this report.
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