Politics

Trump attorney believes legal team will move to quickly dismiss New York case

Washington — An attorney for former President Donald Trump said he believes the legal team representing him in the case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will quickly move to dismiss the case before it ever reaches trial.

James Trusty is representing Trump in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation related to Trump’s handling of classified documents, but not in the Manhattan case. The grand jury in New York investigating the circumstances surrounding a “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016 voted to indict Trump, making him the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges. Trump, who has denied all wrongdoing and says he never had an affair with Daniels, is set to surrender to police and appear in court for the first time on Tuesday.

In an interview Friday, Trusty told CBS News investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge that the New York case is “ripe for motions,” which he believes the former president’s legal team will file in “days or weeks.”

“I think there’s a good chance you’ll see motions, or at least one motion, to dismiss, and it’s the type of thing that could knock this case out before any jury ever hears an opening statement,” Trusty said. 

Trusty said any motions the Trump team files will be “well-founded,” and predicted that “even legal scholars on the other side of the political aisle are going to recognize that it’s a powerful motion.” Further, Trusty said he thinks any charges involving an intent to defraud will be difficult to prove under New York law, and claimed there will be weaknesses in the case. 

“We don’t even have a case number here yet,” Trusty said. “We’ve got a sealed indictment we haven’t read, so there’s a lot to do. But I would expect this in days or weeks, not weeks or months.” 

Joe diGenova, an attorney who has represented Trump in the past, also told CBS News on Thursday night he expects the Trump legal team to file at least one of three motions: to dismiss the case because of the relevant statutes of limitations, to move the case out of Manhattan and to dismiss the case for prosecutorial misconduct. 

Trump’s attorneys are still waiting to see the details of the indictment and the nature of the charge or charges, since it remains under seal.

While Trusty said it doesn’t appear the charges extend to involve the Trump Organization or Karen McDougal, another woman who alleged an affair with Trump, he couldn’t rule that out. 

“I would say it doesn’t look that way from where we sit right now but I don’t put much past this D.A.,” Trusty said. 

The Manhattan grand jury questioned witnesses about a $150,000 payment McDougal received from the National Enquirer in exchange for the rights to her story, CBS News reported Thursday. Trump has denied having an affair with McDougal. 

On another legal front for Trump, Trusty thinks Trump’s position in the classified documents probe is strong. Asked if he’s confident he will prevail, Trusty responded, “If there’s justice in this country still, yes.” 

Trusty said the former president is “remarkably tough, remarkably resilient.”

“He’s been persecuted in a number of ways … and he just kind of takes it and keeps swinging back,” Trusty said. 

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