Updated Feb 15, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump's New York hush money trial will begin March 25, judge says

Former president Donald Trump outside of a court hearing in New York City.

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on Feb. 15. Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump will face his first criminal trial on March 25 over a 2016 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Why it matters: Trump will increasingly be forced to navigate his packed courtroom calendar with appearances on the campaign trail.

  • Trump's federal 2020 election trial was originally scheduled to begin on March 4, but has been postponed. The Supreme Court may take up an appeal that the former president filed this week, which could push the trial back.

The latest: Judge Juan Merchan, who's presiding over the case, kicked off Thursday's hearing by denying Trump's motion to dismiss the charges, multiple outlets reported.

  • Jury selection for the trial will go forward on March 25, Judge Juan Merchan said.

State of play: Before entering the courtroom Thursday, Trump told reporters that he was supposed to be campaigning in South Carolina that day and that he was seeking "delays" in the hearing, the New York Times reported.

  • "How can you run for election and be sitting in a courthouse in Manhattan all day long?" he said, NBC News reported.
  • Trump's lawyer Todd Blanche attempted to push back against the March 25 start date during the hearing, arguing that it would be tantamount to election interference, per the Times. "We are in the middle of primary season," Blanche said.
  • Merchan said he expects the trial to last approximately six weeks, the Times reported.

Catch up fast: Trump was indicted last March by a Manhattan grand jury and charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

  • Prosecutors allege that Trump conducted a "catch and kill" scheme, which included a $130,000 payment to Daniels.
  • The New York indictment made Trump the first sitting or former president to ever face criminal charges.

The big picture: The hush money case is one of several pending legal matters Trump faces while campaigning for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination and another term in the White House.

  • He faces 91 criminal counts in four different jurisdictions.
  • A separate evidentiary hearing is scheduled Thursday in one of his other criminal cases.
  • A judge will review allegations of misconduct and impropriety by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in Trump's Georgia election interference case. The allegations stem from Willis' romantic relationship with Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor she hired to lead the case. Willis said the relationship began after Wade's appointment.

Go deeper: Key players in the Trump hush-money case

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Go deeper