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‘At most it’s a misdemeanor’: Trump denounces upcoming trial over Stormy Daniels hush money

'But there's no misdemeanor either.'


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Mar 26, 2024

Former President Donald Trump denounced on Monday the upcoming trial in New York stemming from hush money payments paid to adult actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

“This is all about election interference,” Trump claimed in a press conference, calling what he did “not even a crime.”

“We’re being tried for something that’s not even a crime,” Trump said. “They say at most it’s a misdemeanor but there’s no misdemeanor either.”

The charge of falsifying business records—which prosecutors say Trump did by dubbing hush money payments to his former fixer Michael Cohen as payment for legal services—is generally a misdemeanor, however, it becomes a felony when done to conceal another crime.

Prosecutors believe the payments, which amounted to $130,000, violated campaign finance laws. The payments could be viewed as a campaign contribution, in which Cohen—like any individual—would have been prohibited from contributing more than $2,700.

Trump’s comment was mocked on social media, with Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall quipping, “Sounds very presidential.”

“Is it good for a presidential candidate to admit flirting with misdemeanor conduct, as a defense against allegations of felony conduct?” asked another X user.

Trump has long denounced the ongoing criminal cases against him, alleging they are politically motivated.

During the press conference, Trump took a crack at President Joe Biden’s age and mental competency, saying that he doesn’t know “if he knows he’s alive.”

But Trump himself appeared to mix up his words at least twice during the conference.

“You can’t have an election in the middle of a political season,” he said, likely meaning a criminal case instead of an election. “We just had Super Tuesday. And we had a Tuesday after Tuesday already. And we had Louisiana the other day.”

He also pledged to “bring crime back to law and order,” before adding that “we’re going to get those words ‘law and order’ back because our cities are a disaster.”

Trump’s hush money trial is set to begin April 15, after a judge on Monday denied his request for another delay.

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*First Published: Mar 26, 2024, 10:20 am CDT