Trump rages at judge hours before hush money case begins

Trump rages at judge hours before hush money case begins

Former President Trump railed against the judge in his criminal hush money case early Monday, just hours before the first criminal trial against a former U.S. president is set to begin.

Repeating complaints he has made for months, Trump argued that Judge Juan Merchan is corrupt and the charges against him are political in nature and baseless, and he dubbed the entire effort a “witch hunt.”

“The Radical Left Democrats are already cheating on the 2024 Presidential Election by bringing, or helping to bring, all of these bogus lawsuits against me, thereby forcing me to sit in courthouses, and spend money that could be used for campaigning, instead of being out in the field knocking Crooked Joe Biden, the WORST President in the History of the United States,” he wrote in one early morning Truth Social post. “Election Interference!”

Trump’s criminal hush money trial will start jury selection Monday in Manhattan, where prosecutors claim the former president illegally covered up payments made to hide a previous affair during the closing days of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump also again denounced the gag order placed against him, which was expanded after he berated Merchan’s wife and daughter in prior social media posts.

“I want my VOICE back. This Crooked Judge has GAGGED me. Unconstitutional!” Trump wrote. “The other side can talk about me, but I am not allowed to talk about them! Rigged Trial!”

It is unclear if Trump will testify during the trial, though he is expected to attend it in person, including Monday’s session.

Trump faces 34 low-level felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with his reimbursements to his then-fixer, Michael Cohen, for paying porn actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 in October 2016 to stay quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

The former president, who denies the affair, pleaded not guilty.

Anticipated high-profile witnesses in the case include Daniels and Cohen, as well as former top Trump Organization officials and some 2016 Trump campaign staffers close to the former president.

The trial is expected to last around six weeks, and marks the first of four criminal cases against the former president. The hush money trial is generally considered to be the least serious of the four cases, but it could be the only one to face a jury before Election Day in November.

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