Trump blasts NY criminal case as 'Biden trial’ meant to hurt him in November election


Former President Trump blasted President Biden on Monday ahead of opening statements in his New York criminal trial and said he wants the American people to “understand” that his criminal trial is taking place “for the purposes of hurting the opponent of the worst president in the history of our country.” 

Trump arrived in court in Manhattan Monday morning before prosecutors for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office and his defense attorneys deliver their opening statements in the trial. 

Donald Trump sits in the courtroom for the first day of opening arguments in his Manhattan criminal trial.

Former U.S. president and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump awaits the start of proceedings for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, U.S., April 22, 2024.  (Yuki Iwamura/Pool via REUTERS)

TRUMP TRIAL: OPENING ARGUMENTS TO BEGIN AS TRUMP FLOUTS GAG ORDER AND ATTORNEY PREVIEWS DEFENSE

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has been charged by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The charges are related to alleged hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election. 

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all counts. He has blasted the trial as pure politics, a “political persecution” and maintains his innocence. The former president, and the first ever to be a defendant in a criminal trial, vowed to “tell the truth” if he takes the stand. 

“I just want to say before we begin — these are all Biden trials,” Trump said before opening statements were delivered Monday. “This is done as election interference. Everybody knows it.” 

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden speaks to the National Action Network Convention remotely from the South Court Auditorium of the White House, Friday, April 12, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“I’m here instead of being able to be in Pennsylvania and Georgia and lots of other places campaigning, and it’s very unfair. Fortunately, the poll numbers are very good,” Trump continued. “They’ve been going up because people understand what’s going on.” 

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Trump again blasted the case as a “witch hunt,” and said its impetus is in Washington. 

“It’s in coordination with Washington — everything — including the DA’s office,” Trump said. “I just want people to understand that this is done for the purposes of hurting the opponent of the worst president in the history of our country.” 

Donald Trump sits in the courtroom for the first day of opening arguments in his Manhattan criminal trial.

Former U.S. president and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks on at Manhattan Criminal Court during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs in New York, U.S., April 22, 2024. (ANGELA WEISS/Pool via REUTERS)

Trump has argued that the cases against him in all jurisdictions — Bragg’s; Special Counsel Jack Smith’s election interference charges; Smith’s classified records charges; and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ charges — have been brought against him for the purposes of election interference and in coordination with President Biden. 

Trump attorney Will Scharf told Fox News Channel on Sunday that the case should never have been brought, and that the facts are on his client’s side.

Donald Trump speaks to the media while entering his Manhattan criminal trial

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media, next to his attorney Todd Blanche, as his criminal trial over charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 continues, at Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S., April 22, 2024.  (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Pool)

“While the prosecution and the media are hell-bent on sensationalizing this case, we’re focusing on the facts because the facts show that President Trump did absolutely nothing wrong,” Scharf said. “This is a business records case, those business records accurately reflected payments to one of President Trump’s lawyers as legal retainer fees. Additionally, those records weren’t actually entered by President Trump. He was busy running the country from the White House while all this was happening in Trump Tower in New York.”

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg arrives at Manhattan criminal court

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg arrives at Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

Shifting from Bragg’s case and charges against him, Trump on Monday morning also pointed to New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case, in which he was forced to post a $175 million bond and found liable for fraud by New York Judge Arthur Engoron after a months-long civil trial without a jury. 

“[Letitia James] campaigned on the fact that ‘I will get Trump. I’m going to get Trump,’” Trump said, pointing to James’ campaign videos. 

Trump said James had a problem with the bond company he used and is arguing in court Monday that “she doesn’t know the collateral is good.” 

“I put up 175 billion in cash and she’s questioning the bonding company,” Trump said. “Well, when you put up cash and the number is 175, which is what we’re supposed to be putting up, but I give it in cash. She shouldn’t be complaining about the bonding company.” 

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Trump added that “nobody is going to be putting up with this.” 

“Nobody is going to be listening or coming to New York anymore — business are going to be fleeing because people are treated so badly — it’s got to be the most unfriendly place to do business,” Trump said. And that’s why businesses are leaving and people are leaving as migrants come in and take over our parks and our schools and everything else.” 

Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman, File)

Lawyers for James are arguing Monday that the court should void Trump’s $175 million bond in his civil fraud case, questioning whether Knight Specialty Insurance, the company who fronted Trump’s bond, could pay the bond if they had to. 

If the judge sides with James’ office, Trump will need to file a new bond. James wants to give Trump seven days to file that new bond, if the ruling is in her favor. 

The decision will be left, again, to Judge Arthur Engoron. 

TRUMP POSTS $175M BOND IN NY CIVIL FRAUD CASE, AVERTS ASSET SEIZURE

Trump, on Monday, blasted James as “the worst attorney general in this country,” and slammed Judge Engoron as an “extremely crazed judge who is the most overturned judge in New York State.” 

New York Judge Arthur Engoran

Justice Arthur Engoron presides over the civil fraud trial of the Trump Organization at the New York State Supreme Court in New York City on November 13, 2023. (ERIN SCHAFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

As for criminal trial stemming from Bragg’s investigation, Trump said: “It’s a very, very sad day in America, I can tell you that.” 

The former president is subject to a gag order in Bragg’s criminal case, which Judge Juan Merchan imposed upon him last month before the trial began. Merchan ordered that Trump cannot make or direct others to make public statements about witnesses concerning their potential participation or about counsel in the case — other than Bragg — or about court staff, DA staff or family members of staff.

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Merchan also ordered that Trump cannot make or direct others to make public statements about any prospective juror or chosen juror. But on Saturday, he let loose with an all-caps rant on his social media platform.

“THIS SCAM ‘RUSHED’ TRIAL TAKING PLACE IN A 95% DEMOCRAT AREA IS A PLANNED AND COORDINATED WITCH HUNT THAT COULD HAVE BEEN BROUGHT 8 YEARS AGO, BUT EVERYBODY PASSED,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.



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