Trump says Manhattan already believes itself guilty

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donald trump
Justin Sullivan/Getty, Tyler Le/BI

  • Trump’s lawyers have been busy surveying potential jurors and studying Michael Cohen’s “X” posts.
  • They discovered that Manhattanites think Trump is guilty and Cohen likes to say “Donald von Shitsinpants.”
  • Based on these and other findings, they have made one last attempt to delay the April 15 hush money trial.

Donald Trump’s lawyers try again to delay his secret money trialthis time arguing that pretrial publicity and Manhattan residents’ demonstrable anti-Trump bias will make it impossible to get a fair jury any time in April.

“President Trump’s constitutional right to a fair trial is at stake,” defense says in a motion to delay March 18 that is now before the trial judge, the New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan.

This last-minute effort to push back Trump’s April 15 trial date is the latest of a half-dozen such requests. Since August.

It is Trump’s most complex effort yet to achieve silence: a multi-pronged enterprise involving a Republican-leaning public investigative firm, suspicions of procedural irregularities and 180 pages of supporting documents.

Clearly, Team Trump has been busy and at a granular level.

They hired pollsters who found that 61% of potential Manhattan jurors already believe Trump is guilty of somethingalmost double the rate of surrounding counties.

Defense survey conducted by Moore Information Group
New York County Clerk’s Office/Business Insider

The defense has also been scrutinizing social media and the “Mea Culpa” podcast of Trump fixer-turned-nemesis Michael Cohen, a key prosecution witness.

Trump’s lawyers point the finger at the judge twice this month, on March 5 and 10, when Cohen referred to Trump on

Excerpt from Donald Trump’s March motion seeking to delay his trial for hush money.
New York County Clerk’s Office/Business Insider

In the past two months, according to Trump’s lawyers, Cohen has aired podcasts titled “Former FBI Agent Tells Michael Cohen Why Trump is Screwed” and “Former Top Justice Department Prosecutor Says TRUMP IS FUCKED, Says reveals EVERYTHING to Cohen.”

Michael Cohen, former lawyer for former US President Donald Trump, speaks to reporters as he arrives at the New York Courthouse in New York City, the United States, on March 15, 2023.
REUTERS/Eduardo Muñoz

“To anyone who will listen, especially if they are paying, Cohen has and will continue to spew vitriol into the public sphere regarding President Trump, including in preparation for the potential trial,” the delay motion complains.

“And probably during it,” the motion adds.

Stormy Daniels, from her documentary “Stormy.”

Stormy Daniels, the porn star whose payment of “hush money” is critical to the prosecution, also receives a nod from the defense.

Like Cohen, Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, hasn’t let her next star take the witness stand stop her from attacking Trump in public.

She has also been promoting his powerful documentary, “Stormy”, which premiered on Peacock on March 18.

When not listening to “Mea Culpa,” the defense team has been listening to Daniels’ podcast, “Beyond the Norm.”

Trump “is actually a monster,” she was quoted as saying in a January podcast, in which she called his supporters “f***ing crazy.”

“She is trying to make money based on this case, which may be related to the fact that she owes President Trump approximately $670,000,” the defense motion says. The bill refers to the total, plus interest, that she was ordered to pay following the dismissal of a lawsuit from 2018.

An uphill battle

Meanwhile, prosecutors, who are due to respond on Monday, appear ready to pour cold water on the defense effort, formally titled “MOTION BY PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP FOR FURTHER CONSTRUEMENT BASED ON PRE-TRIAL PRE-TRIAL PUBLICITY.” .

“First of all, the publicity is not likely to abate,” Deputy Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo argued the last time everyone was in court, on March 25.

“Second, the pretrial publicity has been provoked and exacerbated by the defendant,” Colangelo said. “And third, there are other tools, including effective jury selection practices, that can address any concerns.”

Judge Juan Merchan
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

JudgeHe has also disapproved of further delays.

“The defendant, either directly or through his lawyer, has repeatedly stated publicly that the goal of the defense is to delay these proceedings, if possible, beyond the 2024 presidential elections,” Merchan complained in a decision last week.

Doomed as it may be, the voluminous, energetic last-minute attempt to delay Trump’s decision offers a sometimes surprising inside look at what Trump’s lawyers have been up to these days, in the run-up to the first criminal trial. of the Republican Party favorite.

Trump allegedly falsified 34 personal and business documents in an illegal attempt to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Prosecutors say the falsified documents concealed a $130,000 payment to silence porn star Stormy Daniels eleven days before the election.

Trump has pleaded not guilty, and insists that he is the victim of a politically motivated “witch hunt.” He faces between zero and four years in prison if he is convicted, although legal experts have said jail time unlikely.

Bad polls, bad press

Manhattan is not Trump country, defense delay motion notes.

The damaging media coverage has left Manhattanites “overwhelmingly” biased against Trump, his lawyers complain, citing polls from his outside public research firm. Moore Information Group.

Founded by a former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, bob mooreThe company has surveyed numerous Republican candidates, including Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to its website.

Pollsters surveyed a sample of 400 Manhattan residents, according to the delay motion.

About 70% of respondents had a “very negative” opinion of Trump, the defense survey found. About 60% said they voted against him in the past and plan to vote against him this year.

But while about 60% of Manhattan residents already believed he is guilty of unspecified “criminal charges,” only 35% believe he is guilty in the hush money case.

Prosecutors may well retort that 35% is a number they and the judge can easily get around in jury selection.

Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney
Craig Ruttle/AP

So-called “leaks” from the district attorney

The motion’s least supported allegations are against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whom defense attorneys accuse of using “strategic leaks to harm President Trump.”

The motion cites more than a dozen “damaging” stories about the hush money case and the perjury process from former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg.

The stories, including one from Business Insidercited anonymous sources in revealing the progress of the Manhattan grand juries that investigated and ultimately indicted Trump.

Trump’s motion implies that those sources were Bragg or involved Bragg, ignoring that the stories could have been obtained through many other people, including court staff, witnesses and lawyers for the witnesses.

“President Trump cannot obtain a fair trial in the borough of Manhattan at this time,” the continuance motion concludes, asking for an unspecified postponement “until the damaging news coverage subsides.”

A lawyer for Trump and a spokesperson for Bragg did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this story.

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