Trump’s potential legal maneuvers ahead of hush money trial

By Esther Muhozi
On 2 April 2024 at 12:43

Former US President Donald Trump may fire his legal team to delay proceedings in his hush money trial due to begin soon, an attorney has suggested.

Joyce Vance, a former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, said the Republican wants to delay the trial, which concerns payments allegedly made to a former adult film star.

Writing on her Substack blog, she suggested Trump may either attempt to seek Judge Juan Merchan’s recusal from the case or fire his lawyers.

The trial will determine whether Trump falsified business records over hush money payments to former adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep an alleged affair secret before the 2016 election, as alleged in a criminal indictment.

Prosecutors led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg allege the payments were part of a scheme to stop potentially damaging stories about the Republican from becoming public. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for 2024, has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to the 34 charges against him in the case.

"With trial only two weeks away, Trump is showing increasing signs of desperation," Vance wrote in her blog.

Newsweek contacted a representative for Trump by email to comment on this story.

"There are also the time-honored strategies of the desperate: getting sick or finding a sick or dying family member and firing your lawyers," she wrote.

What happens if Trump fires his lawyers?

This can be a difficult one because defendants are entitled to counsel of their choosing, and lawyers are entitled to sufficient time to prepare.

But Trump has a lot of lawyers on his team and the Judge has to be prepared for this one. Trump would have to argue a significant issue has developed with his lawyers before the Judge would agree to let them out of the case, and it’s going to be difficult to do that with all of them.

On Tuesday, Judge Merchan, imposed a gag order against Trump after the former president made a series of public comments about Merchan and his daughter, Loren Merchan. Trump attacked Merchan’s daughter for her work in Democratic political circles and called for the judge to be rescued from the case.