Donald Trump indictment: Judge deciding future of case performed legal work for former president

Election 2024 Trump
Former President Donald Trump visits with campaign volunteers at the Grimes Community Complex Park, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall/AP

Donald Trump indictment: Judge deciding future of case performed legal work for former president

Video Embed

A judge who is deciding whether to move former President Donald Trump‘s Manhattan criminal case to federal court worked for a group that provided services to Trump back when he was a private practice lawyer.

A Thursday court filing from Judge Alvin Hellerstein said he worked as a partner at the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and that he once performed legal services for Trump-Equitable Fifth Avenue, which once owned Trump Tower in Manhattan.

ONE QUESTION FOR TRUMP COULD DETERMINE THE RACE FOR THE 2024 GOP NOMINATION

However, Hellerstein said he retired from the firm in 1998 and does not believe this serves as a conflict of interest.

“In my opinion, my impartiality cannot reasonably be questioned and no appearance of impropriety exists,” Hellerstein wrote in Thursday’s filing to Trump’s attorneys and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Hellerstein set a court hearing for June 27 to determine whether Trump’s criminal case will be moved out of state court and into federal court.

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments he and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign. The payments were intended to prevent Daniels from going public about an alleged affair she had with the former president in 2005.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case accuses Trump of orchestrating a “catch and kill” scheme during the 2016 presidential cycle to bury negative stories about him. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

In early May, Trump’s legal team filed a motion to have the case transferred to federal court in a bid to avoid a state court trial slated to begin next year. His lawyers said in their motion that the case “involves important federal questions since the indictment charges President Trump for conduct committed while he was president of the United States.”

Hellerstein made it clear that “proceedings may continue in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County,” while Trump’s motion waits to be heard in court.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles