Trump legal team mulling request to move criminal trial to more conservative Staten Island

Lawyers for Donald Trump have considered trying to move his criminal case from deep-blue Manhattan to the more conservative New York borough of Staten Island, according to a new report.

A Manhattan grand jury indicted Mr Trump last week on charges related to a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. The money was paid in an effort to prevent Ms Daniels from publicly revealing an affair she claims she had with the president years ago. Mr Trump has long denied the allegations.

Bloomberg reported that Mr Trump’s legal team is weighing the change in venue but would likely wait to see the charges against the former president when the indictment is unsealed on Tuesday. Mr Trump is scheduled to be arraigned at 2.15pm on Tuesday at Manhattan criminal court, where he is expected to face more than 30 charges including at least one felony.

Mr Trump won Staten Island with 57 per cent of the vote in the 2020 election. Staten Island has traditionally been a more conservative borough of New York City.


Relocating the case may not be feasible, however.

“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. That’s not going to fly,” former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers told Bloomberg.

Since his indictment, Mr Trump has railed against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and has dismissed any investigations into him as political witch hunts.