Trump denied hush money immunity claim as classified docs judge under fire: Live

Donald Trump says 5 November will be ‘Christian Visibility Day’

Donald Trump has been denied his claim of presidential immunity in his criminal hush-money trial.

Justice Juan Merchan ruled that “the defendant had myriad opportunities to raise the claim of presidential immunity” long before the former president did.

The judge said that because he was denying the motion on that basis he need not address whether presidential immunity “precludes the introduction of evidence of purported official presidential acts in a criminal proceeding”.

Mr Trump’s trial remains set to begin on 15 April.

Meanwhile, Special counsel Jack Smith has urged Judge Aileen Cannon, overseeing the classified documents case in Florida, to reject the former president’s contention that he had any claim to personal ownership over the boxes of top secret files reclaimed by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago in August 2022.

The former president refused to return the documents to the National Archives when requested, leading to the case against him. Mr Smith is now calling on Judge Cannon to ignore Mr Trump’s claim that he designated the items as “personal” while president as “pure fiction”.

Elsewhere, Mr Trump is suing his fellow co-founders of the parent company behind Truth Social, to try to wrestle ownership from them.


Watch: RFK Jr walks back saying Biden worse threat to democracy than Trump

Here’s our earlier reporting on RFK Jr’s original comments:

Oliver O’Connell4 April 2024 06:45


New poll: Trump leading Biden in battleground states but within margin of error

A new poll from The Wall Street Journal shows Donald Trump leading Joe Biden in seven key battleground states, but within the margin of error (+/-4 points) in most. The same is true when further candidates are included in the equation.

Oliver O’Connell4 April 2024 04:45


Hush money case: Manhattan DA responds to Trump motion to have case dismissed due to pre-trial publicity

A week after Donald Trump’s motion to delay his criminal hush-money trial due to pretrial publicity, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg files opposition—noting this is Trump’s eighth delay request.

The DAs’ reasons are the same as they brought up in last week’s hearing: it’s unlikely to abate, jury selection can mitigate this, and the former president is making things worse. They also note that there is no new information to consider since the last request to dismiss the case.

“…despite being asked to identify new information unavailable the last time his request was denied on February 15, 2024, defendant has littered his motion with dozens of untrue allegations based on events that date back three years or more—most of which were already considered and rejected in prior decisions by this Court.”

Oliver O’Connell4 April 2024 03:45


Trump declares Election Day ‘Christian Visibility Day’

Donald Trump has promised his Christian followers that election day on 5 November will serve as “Christian Visibility Day”, predicting it will be an occasion “when Christians turn out in numbers that nobody has ever seen before” to vote him back into the White House.

Properly known as International Transgender Day of Visibility but often shortened to Trans Visibility Day, the date to recognise members of America’s transgender community was founded by Michigan-based activist Rachel Crandall in 2009 and has taken place on 31 March every year since.

In 2024, due to a quirk caused by the spring equinox, Easter Sunday fell on the same date.

Oliver O’Connell4 April 2024 02:45


Trump and Biden add to delegate totals, despite already securing party nominations

Here’s Mike Bedigan to round up yesterday’s primaries, which had more than a whiff of futility about them, given that both Trump and Biden have long since sewn up their parties’ nominations in all but name.

Oliver O’Connell4 April 2024 01:45


Welcome to Trump International Airport?

House Republican lawmakers are pushing to rename Washington DC’s international airport after former president Donald Trump, who is no stranger to having his name plastered onto the side of large buildings.

Rep Guy Rechenthaler of Pennsylvania, the party’s chief deputy whip in the House, introduced bill HR 7845 on Friday, which proposes changing the name of Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia to “Donald J Trump International Airport”.

That ain’t gonna fly…

Oliver O’Connell4 April 2024 00:45


Full story: Jack Smith slams judge’s handling of Trump classified documents case

Special counsel Jack Smith has slammed the judge presiding over Donald Trump’s federal classified documents case over an order in which she asked prosecutors and defence lawyers to file proposed jury instructions based on a “fundamentally flawed legal premise”.

Oliver O’Connell4 April 2024 00:15


Analysis: Trump has maintained a strategic silence on Gaza. So what is his policy?

Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically quiet on what is likely to be one of the biggest foreign policy issues of his second term, should he win in November. But in the few interviews and statements he has given on Israel and the war in Gaza, the former president has shown signs that he may be cooling in his support for the longtime US ally.

Oliver O’Connell3 April 2024 23:45


Hush money trial: The return of Hope Hicks?

Hope Hicks, a former aide to Trump during his presidential administration, could be called as a witness for the prosecution at his upcoming New York hush money trial, according to reports.

Oliver O’Connell3 April 2024 23:15


Florida’s abortion ban presents Biden campaign with a potential opening

On Monday, the court overturned three decades of precedent to uphold a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which would likely allow for a more restrictive law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis that bans abortion at six weeks to take effect.

At the same time, the court wrote that a proposed constitutional amendment that would protect Floridians’ right to an abortion until the point of “viability” for a foetus could be on the ballot.

Mr Biden criticised the decision in a statement from the White House on Tuesday morning.

Oliver O’Connell3 April 2024 22:45

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