Advertisement

Judge approves Trump hush-money delay, and trial may now run from mid-April until after Memorial Day

A courtroom sketch of New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan at Donald Trump's hush-money arraignment.
A courtroom sketch of New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan at Donald Trump's hush-money arraignment.Reuters/Jane Rosenberg
  • Trump's New York hush-money trial is now back on track for mid-April.

  • Justice Juan Merchan agreed Friday to push back the original March 25 start date.

  • The delay will give Merchan, prosecutors, and defense lawyers time to contend with late evidence.

The Manhattan judge who will preside over Donald Trump's first criminal trial agreed on Friday to push back the original March 25 trial start date by about three weeks.

The delay was prompted by the last-minute production by federal prosecutors in Manhattan of some 80,000 pages of potential evidence concerning their 2018 prosecution of key witness Michael Cohen.

Merchan did not set a firm date, as he still must decide the latest Hail Mary defense request that the case be dismissed in its entirety, this time due to the late evidence dump.

Both sides — the defense and Manhattan prosecutors — are blaming each other for the delay, though prosecutors also blame the US Attorney's Office for what they describe as unneccessary footdragging.

The vast majority of the 80,000 pages, turned over in response to a January defense subpoena, is irrelevant to the hush-money case, prosecutors said earlier Friday.

Merchan did not set a specific new date for jury selection in Friday's letter to prosecutors and the defense.

Instead, he wrote, "Trial on this matter is adjourned for 30 days from the date of this letter on consent of the People."

Defense lawyers had asked for a 90-day delay.

The parties will still meet March 25 in his courtroom for a hearing on what Merchan called "significant questions of fact which this Court must resolve before it may rule on Defendant's motion" to dismiss the case over the evidence snafu.

The trial, which is expected to last six weeks, could now run from mid-April until just after Memorial Day, given the judge's previous plan to give jurors the fourth week of April off.

New York City schools have off that week, and it's also the week of Passover.

"We will continue to fight to end this hoax, and all of the other Crooked Joe Biden-directed Witch Hunts, once and for all," said Steven Cheung, the Trump campaign communications director.

Read the original article on Business Insider