Trump denied last-minute request to halt hush money trial by appeals court

Donald Trump’s request to halt his New York hush money trial was rejected by an appeals court judge after a jury panel was selected in the historic case.

The Friday afternoon ruling came just hours after the jury of 12 people and six alternates was seated in the case, meaning opening statements can begin on Monday.

Justice Marsha Michael took just minutes to issue the ruling after a short hearing.

The former president’s legal team had asked the judge to pause the case brought by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg as they attempted to have it moved out of the borough.

After four days of jury selection, the final alternate jurors were picked from a batch of Manhattan residents on Friday. So long as no other jurors drop out or are dismissed from the panel, opening arguments will begin on Monday.

Friday’s court proceedings were interrupted during the lunch break when a man self-immolated in a park outside of the courthouse.

Mr Trump, the Republican nominee for president, faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged affair.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleges it was part of a greater catch-and-kill scheme Mr Trump engaged in to influence the outcome of the presidential election.

When leaving the court on Friday, Mr Trump was asked if he would testify in the case.

“Yes,” he replied.

The trial will resume on Monday at 9.30am ET.