Criminal trial for Donald Trump set for March 2024

Donald Trump will face a criminal trial on March 25, 2024, over charges he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels, a judge said on Tuesday.

Justice Juan Merchan in Manhattan state court set the date during a hearing in which the former U.S. president appeared remotely from Florida.

That means Trump, who is currently the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president in the 2024 election, will be going on trial during the heart of the nominating primaries, when he and his rivals for the Republican presidential candidacy will be crisscrossing the country to drum up support among the party faithful.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records.

WATCH | Will Trump criminal charges impact 2024 presidential election? 

Criminal charges bolster Trump supporters

Criminal charges against former U.S. president Donald Trump have served to bolster his supporters who came out to the New York City courthouse and rally in Florida. Trump’s camp maintains the 34 charges of falsifying business are a witch hunt.

The primary purpose of Tuesday’s hearing was for Merchan to officially advise Trump of an order restricting him from disclosing certain evidence to third parties, including news outlets and on social media. At the start of the hearing, Merchan asked Trump if he had a copy of the order.

“Yes I do,” said Trump, wearing a striped red tie and blue suit and sitting next to his lawyer, Todd Blanche, in front of U.S. flags. The two were shown on at least four screens in Merchan’s courtroom.

The restrictions on Trump concern grand jury minutes, witness statements and other materials that prosecutors are required to turn over to the defence to prepare for trial.

Prosecutors have said the order was needed because of Trump’s history of attacks on social media, and the risk that witnesses might be harassed.

Trump would remain free to speak about most evidence in the case which comes from the defence, the judge said at a hearing earlier this month.

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