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Judge Declines Trump’s Request to Postpone Hush-Money Trial Pending Supreme Court Ruling on Immunity

Former President Trump (Credits: CNN)

A judge dismissed Donald Trump’s request to postpone his hush money trial, which is set for April 15, until the Supreme Court resolves his claims of presidential immunity in another criminal case.

Manhattan Judge Juan M. Merchan ruled that Trump’s lawyers had numerous opportunities to raise the immunity issue earlier but did so only recently, questioning the sincerity of their motion.

Trump’s legal team, representing the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, sought to delay the New York trial indefinitely until the Supreme Court decides on his immunity claim in the Washington case related to election interference.

The former president argues that he is immune from prosecution for actions taken during his presidency, including some evidence in the hush money case allegedly from his time in the White House.

Trump (Credits: Business Standard)

This immunity issue initially arose in Trump’s Washington criminal case, which accuses him of attempting to overturn the 2020 election results before the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, incited by his supporters. Trump’s lawyers have contended that certain evidence in the hush money case constitutes official acts from his presidency.

While Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, declined to comment, the Manhattan district attorney’s office refrained from making a statement. The hush money trial, Trump’s first of four criminal cases scheduled for a jury trial, was postponed from March 25 to April 15 due to another matter.

Despite Trump’s lawyers pushing for further delays, prosecutors argued against it, stating that media coverage is unlikely to decrease and asserting that the jury selection process will ensure an impartial jury.

Donald Trump (Credits: The New Yorker)

The hush money case revolves around allegations that Trump manipulated his company’s records to conceal payments to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who facilitated suppressing negative stories during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records and denies any extramarital encounter with Stormy Daniels, for which Cohen paid $130,000 to keep quiet. A federal judge rejected Trump’s claim of official duty involvement in the hush money case, preventing its transfer from state to federal court.

Whether a former president is immune from federal prosecution for actions taken during office remains legally uncertain, with the Supreme Court’s upcoming consideration adding to the trial’s complexity and timing uncertainty.

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