Judge refuses to delay Trump's “hush money” trial while Supreme Court weighs presidential exemptions

Washington – The judge overseeing the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump in New York rejected his last-minute bid The start of the trial should be delayed until the US Supreme Court rules on Trump's presidential immunity claim.

Trump had he asked A lawyer for Trump has delayed the opening date of his trial over “hush money” he paid to adult film star Stormi Daniels before the 2016 election. Another of his criminal cases was prosecuted through “presidential immunity”. It's an investigation Starting on April 15th.

Manhattan Judge Juan Merson denied the request Wednesday, saying it was “timely” and that Trump's lawyers have months to raise the issue before the motion is filed in March.

“This court finds that the defendant had numerous opportunities to raise presidential immunity prior to March 7, 2024,” Merchan wrote. “Defendant may have done so in his omnibus motions on September 29, 2023, which were filed six days before he explained his federal counterclaim and several months after he brought his motion to dismiss in federal court on May 4, 2023.”

Merson noted in his ruling that pretrial motions must be filed within 45 days. Trump was there was presented In this case last April. “The fact that Trump waited 17 days before the scheduled hearing date of March 25, 2024, to file the motion raises real questions about the integrity and true intent of the motion,” the judge said.

Daniels was charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in order to pay Daniels $130,000 in repayments to Trump after he allegedly had an affair with Trump several years ago. Trump, who denies having an affair with Daniels, has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin on March 25, but was delayed until later this month after a controversy over about 100,000 documents being withdrawn by federal prosecutors. Trump's team has sought to further delay proceedings or dismiss the case altogether, accusing prosecutors of misconduct for failing to quickly turn over new documents.

At last week's hearing, Merson said prosecutors “went further than they should have, and it's really odd that we're taking this time.”

Trump, who is running for the White House, is busy defending himself in several criminal cases.

A judge in Florida has yet to finalize a trial date in a case involving Trump's alleged mishandling of classified documents after he left the White House in 2021. His trial in Washington, D.C. was charged with conspiracy to rig the 2020 election. The Supreme Court is on hold as it considers the immunity issue. He was also indicted in Georgia in an election interference case. He pleaded not guilty to all of those charges.

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