Trump's legal team may ask to move his criminal trial from Manhattan to more conservative-leaning Staten Island, report says

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump.AP Photo/Evan Vucci
  • Trump's legal team is looking to move the New York criminal inquiry from Manhattan to Staten Island, per Bloomberg.

  • Trump's team has not yet made a decision, as they're looking to review the indictment next week.

  • Manhattan is one of the bluest jurisdictions in the country, while Staten Island leans Republican.

Former President Donald Trump's defense team is considering asking to move his criminal trial to more conservative-leaning Staten Island, fearing that the former president wouldn't be able to receive a fair trial in Manhattan, according to Bloomberg.

Trump's attorneys have not yet determined their final course of action on the matter, however, and are looking to first review the charges in the indictment from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr., an unnamed source told the news agency.

Bragg's office on Thursday indicted Trump following an investigation related to hush-money payments made to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels in advance of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump, who has long decried the investigation as a "witch hunt" and attacked Bragg over the criminal inquiry, is set to be arraigned Tuesday in Manhattan.

The request in itself would have a veneer of politics, as Manhattan — or New York County — is one of the most Democratic-heavy jurisdictions in the country.

In the 2020 presidential election, now-President Joe Biden easily defeated Trump in Manhattan by a hefty 87% to 12% margin. In that contest, Biden netted more than 517,000 votes in Manhattan alone on his way to winning the state by 23 percentage points.

Staten Island, also known as Richmond County, has long been the most conservative of New York City's five boroughs. In 2020, Trump won Staten Island by a 57% to 42% margin over Biden.

Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor, told Bloomberg that any attempt to shift the location of the court proceedings would likely falter as defendants aren't enabled to seek out juries using specific barometers that would be more preferable to them.

"The only reason he would try to move venue to Staten Island is that he thinks — based on voter registration — that that's a friendlier potential jury pool for him," Rodgers told the news agency. "That's not going to fly."

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