DUELING COURT HEARINGS HIGHLIGHT TRUMP’S CHALLENGES IN 2024 ELECTION

Former President Donald Trump appeared in a Manhattan court for a pretrial hearing in the criminal “hush-money” case against him. At the same time in Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was in the spotlight for her relationship with a prosecutor she hired for the 2020 election interference case against Trump and co-defendants.

“Instead of being in South Carolina and other states campaigning, I’m stuck here,” Trump said outside the courtroom after the hearing, calling the case “election interference.”

The split-screen moment of the two legal proceedings will likely become familiar in the 2024 election cycle. Trump faces numerous criminal and civil trials this year. The first criminal trial looks to be the New York hush-money case, part of Manhattan Attorney General Alvin Bragg’s investigation. The judge on Thursday set the start date for jury selection in the trial on March 25, 2024.

Trump said he would be campaigning in the evening after attending the trial.

The legal challenges have not been the opposite of an obstacle in his race to win the GOP nomination. But Trump’s last major GOP rival, Nikki Haley, said the legal drama would lead to more electoral losses for the party.

“Donald Trump is in court today. There will be a verdict on another case tomorrow. And he has a trial starting March 25. Meanwhile, he’s spending millions of campaign donations on legal fees. All of this chaos will only lead to more losses for Republicans up and down the ticket,” Haley said.