Donald Trump looked none too pleased today when he found out that his criminal hush money trial would take place March 25, 2024 — plumb in the middle of the presidential primary season. Even from afar, as he attended the hearing remotely, the fidgeting ex-president seemed to react angrily on camera as he squinted and scowled when he heard the date. He immediately began waving his arms as he jabbered to his lawyer, Todd Blanche, who was sitting next to him, but, according to the New York Times, it's unclear what what said due to his muted mic.
From The New York Times:
Before the appearance started, Mr. Trump waited on camera, visible in high-definition to the entire courtroom — a remarkable way to encounter the former president. Wearing a navy suit and a red, white and blue tie, he squinted and glowered at the camera, clasping and unclasping his hands, never keeping them in the same position for very long. He looked like a man unaccustomed to waiting.
Mr. Trump barely spoke with his microphone on once the hearing got underway. But when Justice Merchan mentioned the trial date, he immediately grew agitated, chattering at Mr. Blanche with his microphone muted, waving his hands and shaking his head. He then folded his arms in frustration as the judge reviewed the updated motion schedule that would precede the trial.
And from ABC News:
Trump, sitting side-by-side with his attorney Todd Blanche, his hands folded on the table, scowled into the camera when Judge Juan Merchan announced the trial date, possibly because the date conflicts with the GOP primary calendar as Trump seeks to reclaim the presidency.
Merchan has previously indicated that no one associated with the case is allowed to schedule anything that would conflict with the trial, which would seemingly including any campaign appearances that would keep Trump from appearing in court.
Merchan reviewed for Trump the terms of a protective order that prohibits him from sharing on social media any evidence turned over by the Manhattan district attorney during discovery.
The desperate Trump is now trying to shift the case from state to federal court, "likely a long shot effort," according to NYT, that will be heard in federal court on June 27.