Judge refuses to delay Trump’s ‘hush money’ trial as Supreme Court weighs presidential immunity

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By journalsofus.com


Washington — The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s criminal case in New York. rejected his last minute offer delaying the start of the trial until after the US Supreme Court rules on Trump’s claim of presidential immunity.

Trump had asked delay the start date of her trial, which is related to a “hush money” payment made by a Trump lawyer to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election, until after the Supreme Court to rule on whether he is protected against criminal offenses. prosecution for “presidential immunity” in another of his criminal cases. the judgment is scheduled to begin April 15.

Manhattan Judge Juan Merchán denied the request on Wednesday, saying it was “ill-timed” and that Trump’s lawyers had months to raise the issue before the motion was filed in March.

“This Court finds that the defendant had countless opportunities to raise the presidential immunity claim well before March 7, 2024,” Merchan wrote. “The defendant could have done so in his general motions of September 29, 2023, which were filed just six days before he reported the same issue in his Federal Insurrection Matter and several months after he filed his motion for dismissal with the court federal on May 4, 2023.”

Merchan noted in his ruling that pretrial motions are supposed to be filed within 45 days of arraignment. Trump was indicted in this case last April. The judge also said that the fact that Trump had waited until “just 17 days before the scheduled trial date of March 25, 2024, to file the motion raises real questions about the sincerity and real purpose of the motion.” motion”.

Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to reimbursement payments to his then-attorney Michael Cohen, who had paid $130,000 to Daniels, who alleged she had an affair with Trump years earlier. Trump, who denies having an affair with Daniels, has pleaded not guilty and denies any wrongdoing.

The trial was initially set to begin March 25, but was delayed until later this month after a dispute over approximately 100,000 documents turned over by federal prosecutors. Trump’s team sought to further delay the procedure, or dismiss the case outright, accusing prosecutors of misconduct for not handing over the new tranche of documents sooner.

At last week’s hearing addressing the matter, Merchan said prosecutors “went so far beyond what they were required to do that it’s really strange that we’re here taking this time.”

Trump has been busy defending himself in several criminal cases while running for the White House.

A Florida judge has not yet set a trial date for the case involving Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents after he left the White House in 2021. His trial in Washington, D.C., in which he was accused of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election, has now ended. has been put on hold while the Supreme Court considers the question of immunity. He is also charged in Georgia in an election interference case. He has also pleaded not guilty to all of those charges.

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