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New York judge to try Trump in criminal case in March 



A New York judge on Thursday rejected Donald Trump’s attempts to dismiss charges of covering up hush money payments to a porn star, setting the stage for the first criminal trial of a former US president to begin on March 25th.

At the same time, Trump’s representatives attended a fiery hearing in Atlanta, pushing to have the prosecutors bringing separate charges of election fraud and racketeering against Trump disqualified from the case.

They are just two of four criminal cases facing the Republican frontrunner as he campaigns to retake the White House, with his legal teams thus far failing to push the actual trials until after the November 5 vote.

Trump, who has seized on his legal woes to rev up his supporters and denounce Democratic opponent Joe Biden, reiterated his claim that the charges were “just a way of hurting me in the election.”

“How can you run for election if you are sitting in a courthouse in Manhattan all day long,” he said as he arrived.

In the courtroom, his legal team argued he would not receive a fair trial in New York because another Manhattan jury awarded $83 million to E. Jean Carroll, a writer whom Trump was found to have sexually assaulted and defamed.

Judge Juan Merchan rejected that, as well as arguments by Trump’s lawyers that there was too much media coverage for a jury to be unbiased.

“Given all the information I have before me, we are moving ahead to jury selection on March 25,” Merchan said.

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