Trial in New York Trump has to pay significantly less bail – hush money trial starts in mid-April

Breathe a sigh of relief and hold your breath at the same time for Donald Trump: A New York appeals court has more than halved a bail amount of around $450 million and extended the deadline. But: The start of the criminal trial regarding the hush money affair has now finally been determined.

An appeals court in New York has significantly reduced the security deposit required of former President Donald Trump following his conviction on business fraud charges. The court ruled on Monday that Trump only had to pay $175 million (162 million euros) into a judicial account or provide guarantees of that amount. He was given ten days to do this.

But there wasn't just reason to celebrate for Team Trump. The criminal trial against the ex-president in connection with hush money payments to a porn actress is scheduled to begin on April 15th. According to consistent US media reports, Judge Juan Merchan decided on Monday in New York that a jury should be selected from that day onwards – around three weeks later than originally planned. There has never been a criminal trial against a former president in US history.

Donald Trump could lose real estate in New York

In trial number 1, a civil case, Trump was ordered to post a bail amount of $454 million by Monday. However, his lawyers announced last week that the billionaire was unable to do so. The background is that most of Trump's assets are tied up in real estate and are not immediately available to him in cash.

If the US Republicans' expected renewed presidential candidate is unable to provide security, he will have to expect the New York public prosecutor's office to block his accounts or seize his properties – that would be a great disgrace and potentially for the right-wing populist, who praises himself as a brilliant businessman a setback for his election campaign.

In the civil case for business fraud, Trump and his sons were found guilty of artificially inflating the assets of their real estate empire over the years in order to obtain favorable conditions from banks and insurance companies. As a result, Trump was fined around $355 million plus interest in February, totaling around $454 million.

The 77-year-old has lodged an appeal against the verdict and therefore does not have to pay the fine for the time being. However, he must provide security in order for an appeal process to take place.

Historical: first criminal trial against a US president

At the same time, Trump took part in a hearing on Monday in New York on a criminal case related to hush money payments to a porn actress. The trial was actually supposed to start on Monday with the selection of a jury. Because of new evidence, Judge Juan Merchan postponed the start of the trial by 30 days around two weeks ago and scheduled the hearing for further proceedings. This should now clarify why the evidence was only presented so late.

It is now clear: the trial is scheduled to begin on April 15th.

The case in New York revolves primarily around a hush money payment of $130,000 to the porn actress Stormy Daniels – the money flowed in 2016 shortly before Trump was elected president. She had claimed that she had had sex with him. Trump denies an affair, but does not deny that money was flowed. Non-disclosure agreements between two parties are not illegal. However, Trump is accused of illegally recording the payments, trying to conceal them illegally and thereby trying to cover up other violations of the law. The ex-president has pleaded not guilty.