Judge refuses to postpone Trump hush money trial and will consider whether to relax gag order

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By journalsofus.com

Judge Cynthia Kern rejected Trump’s attempt to postpone the April 15 trial.

A New York appeals court judge has refused to postpone the April 15 trial in former President Donald Trump’s case. silent money case. The full First Department of the Appellate Division will consider later this month whether to relax a limited gag order as Trump has requested.

The full appellate division panel will now consider in the coming weeks three components that could affect former President Trump’s upcoming criminal trial in New York.

As soon as Monday, the same day the trial is scheduled to begin, the appeals court could decide whether to delay the trial while considering Trump’s appeal of the gag order and a separate ruling keeping the case in Manhattan.

Before April 22, the parties must present written arguments regarding the change of venue. By April 29, the parties must submit written arguments regarding the gag order.

Trump’s defense attorney, Emil Bove, argued Tuesday morning that the gag order creates “irreparable harm” because the former president is unable to respond to attacks from expected trial witnesses Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels, and prevents him from criticize one of the prosecutors in the case. case and speaking in support of a recent motion to recuse the judge based on the conduct of his daughter.

Kern responded to Trump’s request to suspend the entire proceedings with skepticism, asking how the gag order is different from a similar order that was upheld in Trump’s federal election interference case.

“Mr. Cohen and Ms. Clifford are attacking President Trump in public in a completely different way than any witnesses in any of these cases,” Bove argued.

Steven Wu, an attorney for the Manhattan district attorney, rejected the request for a stay, telling the court of Trump’s “indisputable history” of disparaging comments, including calling witnesses “losers,” “horsefaces” and “deranged psychopaths.” “. “

“The criminal trial must continue anyway,” Wu said. “This is precisely the time when it is most important to ensure that the defendant’s extrajudicial statements do not prejudice the trial.”

Wu expressed concern that Trump’s comments put others in the “line of fire” and could affect the participation of trial witnesses.

“There have already been difficulties in finding witnesses in our case to come forward and testify,” Wu said.

Trump’s lawyers have previously complained that the gag order paralyzes the presumptive Republican nominee in both his political campaign and legal defense.

The challenge is structured through an administrative petition against Judge Juan Merchán, who has prohibited Trump from attacking witnesses, prosecutors and court staff.

Merchan recently expanded the gag order to include members of her family after Trump repeatedly attacked the judge’s daughter over her work for a Democratic political consulting firm.

Trump previously challenged a limited gag order in his civil fraud case using this same method. He obtained a temporary stay before the full appeals court upheld the gag order in that case.

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment accusing him of falsifying business records in connection with a money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 presidential election.

Jury selection for the trial is scheduled to begin April 15 in New York City.

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