Donald Trump Loses Latest Bid to Halt Hush-Money Trial

Former President Donald Trump‘s legal team on Friday once again failed in an attempt to halt his hush-money criminal trial and for the case to be moved outside of Manhattan.

An appeals court jurist in the New York City borough, Justice Marsha Michael, denied the request by Trump’s attorneys to pause the trial. The arguments for the appeal took place after jury selection concluded in another court, where Trump was present for his hush-money trial while a man set himself on fire outside.

The Associated Press reported that Michael issued the ruling after “a brief hearing.” The documents hadn’t been made public as of press time, but Bloomberg noted that Trump’s lawyers have previously argued to the appeals court that his trial should be moved out of Manhattan because they claim he can’t get a fair trial there due to the heavy publicity.

Newsweek reached out to a Trump representative on Friday evening for comment.

Donald Trump leaves court
Former President Donald Trump on Friday exits Manhattan Criminal Court during recess in his New York City hush-money trial. Trump’s legal team lost a bid to halt the trial and have it moved out of…

Photo by Sarah Yenesel – Pool/Getty Images

Trump is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records regarding a payment made to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential election campaign. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and denies ever having relations with Daniels.

After four days, the full jury has been selected along with six alternates for the criminal trial. Michael’s ruling will allow opening statements to take place as soon as Monday.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the trial, on Friday warned the defense about flooding the court with new filings, like it did before trial began.

“Defense is literally targeting individual decisions, one by one by one by one, by filing pre-motion letters,” Merchan said. “That has to end. There has to come a time when you accept my rulings.”

“We’re going to have opening arguments on Monday. This trial is starting,” he said.

As Trump late Friday afternoon left the courthouse, he was asked whether he would testify in the case. He answered, “yes.”

Trump then criticized the case once again.

“All over the world, they’re saying it: This is a giant witch hunt,” he said.

Earlier in the day, news coverage of the trial took a dramatic turn when police officers responded to a scene outside the courthouse, where Max Azzarello, 37, had set himself on fire in apparent protest. Trump and others in the courtroom were heading for a lunch break at the time.

According to a manifesto that Azzarello wrote ahead of his protest, his actions were not related to Trump’s trial.