Donald Trump hush money trial postponed as new evidence introduced
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Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s New York hush-money criminal trial was delayed Friday until at least mid-April as the judge seeks answers about a last-minute evidence dump that the former president’s lawyers said has hampered their ability to prepare their defense.

Manhattan Judge Juan Manuel Merchan agreed to a 30-day delay starting Friday and scheduled a hearing for March 25 after Trump’s lawyers complained that they only recently started receiving more than 100,000 pages of documents from a previous federal investigation into the matter.

The trial had been scheduled to start on March 25. The delay means the trial would start no earlier than April 15. Prosecutors had said they wouldn’t object to a short delay. Trump’s lawyers have requested a three-month delay as well as asking for the case to be thrown out.

In a statement Friday, the Trump campaign continued to argue that the case “has no basis in law or fact, and should be dismissed.”

Prosecutors said they were ready to proceed to trial on March 25, but were OK with a 30-day adjournment “in an abundance of caution and to ensure that defendant has sufficient time to review the new materials.”

“Trial on this matter is adjourned for 30 days from the date of this letter on consent of the People,” Merchan wrote, referring to the prosecution. “The Court will set the new trial date, if necessary, when it rules on Defendant’s motion following the hearing.”

Trump’s lawyers said they have received tens of thousands of pages of evidence in the last two weeks from the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, which investigated the hush money arrangement while Trump was President.

The evidence includes records about former Trump lawyer-turned-prosecution witness Michael Cohen that are “exculpatory and favorable to the defense,” Trump’s lawyers said. Prosecutors said most of the newly turned over material is “largely irrelevant to the subject matter of this case,” though some records are pertinent.

The hush money case centers on allegations that Trump falsified his company’s records to hide the true nature of payments to Cohen, who paid porn actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 during the 2016 presidential campaign to suppress her claims of an extramarital sexual encounter with Trump years earlier.

Trump pleaded not guilty last year to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and has denied having a sexual encounter with Daniels. His lawyers argue the payments to Cohen were legitimate legal expenses and were not part of any cover-up.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press

One comment

  • PeterH

    March 16, 2024 at 1:33 pm

    It’s becoming clear that American voters will not be privy to the outcome of Trump’s criminal trials before voting in the national election. Therefore it’s imperative for more real conservative voices to be heard, like Mike Pence’s proclamation yesterday, …… declaring that HE WILL NOT endorse Trump for a second term. Trump is too dangerous in the Oval Office.
    Republicans are America’s worst enemy!
    Vote all Republicans out of office!

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