Why Preemption Args Wouldn't Stall Trump Hush-Money Case


PUBLISHED ON: March 12, 2024

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On Feb. 15, acting New York County Supreme Court Justice Juan M. Merchan denied former President Donald Trump's motion to dismiss the indictment in the state's case against Trump.

That indictment charges Trump with falsifying business records that relate to hush-money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Justice Merchan also set the case down for trial on March 25.

Justice Merchan's decision and the impending trial date may set the stage for a new Trump-centered legal skirmish, one that will turn the public's attention to an arcane but important issue in white collar criminal practice, namely: When can a state court criminal case be stayed, and ultimately dismissed, on the grounds that it is preempted by federal law?

The issue arises in the following context. Trump stands charged with 34 counts of falsifying records in the first degree in violation of NY Penal Law Section 175.10. That charge, in relevant part, requires that the defendant falsify business records with the intent to conceal the commission of another crime.


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