Donald Trump seeks to move NY criminal case to federal court
Donald Trump 's lawyers have asked a federal court to take control of his New York City criminal case. They argued Thursday that the former president can't be tried in the state court where his historic indictment was brought because the alleged conduct occurred while he was in office.
In court papers, Trump's lawyers said the criminal case "involves important federal questions," including alleged violations of federal election law. Federal officers, including former presidents, have the right to be tried in federal court for charges arising from "conduct performed while in office," the lawyers argued.
Echoing Trump's claims that his indictment is "politically motivated," lawyer Susan Necheles urged the federal court to exert its "protective jurisdiction" and seize the case from the state courts where Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg routinely practices.
Such requests are rarely granted in criminal cases, although Trump's request is unprecedented because he's the first former president ever charged with a crime.
"This effort is extremely unlikely to succeed," said Rebecca Roiphe, a professor at New York Law School. "It's not even clear that this would be a particularly effective delay tactic."
Moving the case could give Trump some advantages, such as a broader, more politically diverse jury pool — but the fundamentals of the case would remain largely intact.
The Manhattan district attorney's office would still prosecute him and state law would still apply, but with the oversight of a federal judge, said University of Iowa law professor Derek Muller.
"It's essentially just a change in courthouses," Muller said.
Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, first raised the prospect of moving the case to federal court...