Donald Trump’s trial over hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels will begin March 25, 2024, a New York City judge ruled Tuesday.
The former president, who faces more than 30 felony charges of falsifying business records, appeared virtually in Manhattan court Tuesday to hear Judge Juan Merchan’s decision on the date.
Trump, who has pleaded not guilty on all counts, scowled upon learning the date, ABC News reported. The trial will kick off right in the middle of the 2024 presidential primaries, for which he’s a declared Republican candidate.
Merchan read Trump and his attorneys a list of what he can and cannot publicly say about the case, CNN reported, and clarified that Trump is still allowed to defend himself against the charges while on the campaign trail.
“He is free to defend himself against these charges. He is free to campaign,” the judge said.
Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche said he was worried about limits set on the former president, who he said is “very much concerned that his First Amendment rights are being violated.”
Under a protective order Merchan approved last month, Trump is not allowed to share any evidence that prosecutors give to his legal team. Prosecutors argued the order was necessary because of Trump’s history of making inflammatory remarks on social media.
Trump was arrested last month on charges that he falsified business records to conceal a $130,000 payment to Daniels, who says she received the money in exchange for her silence on an affair she claims she had with Trump in 2006.
Trump ― the first former or current U.S. president to be charged with criminal activity ― denies the affair.