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Manhattan DA seeks 30-day delay of Trump’s New York hush money trial

Manhattan prosecutors said they will not oppose delaying former President Trump’s upcoming hush money trial by 30 days after receiving thousands of new documents in recent days.

Jury selection is scheduled for to begin in less than two weeks, which would mark Trump’s first criminal trial — and the first criminal trial of any former U.S. president.

But the new filing from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) office throws a curveball into the schedule, potentially pushing the trial closer to this year’s election.

Judge Juan Merchan has maintained the March 25 trial date over Trump’s previous objections, and the judge must sign off on any delay.

The new twist comes after Trump accused prosecutors of misconduct by violating discovery rules. Trump, who asserts his charges should be dropped altogether, wants his trial to be adjourned for 90 days at minimum.

Prosecutors insist they complied with their obligations, but out of an “abundance of caution” would agree to a one-month delay after the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the Southern District of New York turned over 73,000 pages of records in recent days.

Court filings show nearly half were turned over Wednesday, and more documents are expected by next week.

“Based on our initial review of yesterday’s production, those records appear to contain materials related to the subject matter of this case, including materials that the People requested from the USAO more than a year ago and that the USAO previously declined to provide,” wrote Matthew Colangelo, a senior counsel on the prosecutorial team.

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The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment why the records weren’t previously turned over. Colangelo indicated more records are expected to be turned over by next week.

The prosecutors asserted, however, that the timing of the attorney’s office production is a “result solely of defendant’s delay despite the People’s diligence,” noting that the records were being turned over in response to a subpoena that Trump’s legal team issued in January.

Trump has demanded the trial be adjourned for at least 90 days to review the new documents.

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“[T]he People are ready for trial on March 25,” state prosecutors wrote. “Nonetheless, in light of the distinctive circumstances described below, the People do not oppose a brief adjournment of up to 30 days to permit sufficient time for defendant to review the USAO productions.”

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records linked to reimbursements he made to his ex-fixer, Michael Cohen, for a hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. The former president pleaded not guilty.

Beyond the new documents from the U.S. attorney’s office, Trump’s motion went further, accusing prosecutors of engaging in discovery violations by not turning over materials relevant to Trump’s defense on time.

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“The People have engaged in widespread misconduct as part of a desperate effort to improve their position at the potential trial on the false and unsupported charges in the Indictment,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

Trump’s lawyers also flagged concern over the upcoming release of Daniels’s documentary, which is scheduled to premiere on NBC’s Peacock streaming network on March 18. In a trailer released earlier this month, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, harshly criticizes Trump and describes being “terrified” of threats from his supporters.

“Clifford’s work with NBCUniversal to further monetize her untrue testimony by releasing [redacted] a week before the scheduled trial date reflects an egregious effort to prejudice the venue, which the People were undoubtedly aware of but failed to disclose, and which requires a dismissal and, if not granted, at the very last, an adjournment of the trial date,” they wrote.

A delay in his hush money case could have ramifications for the other three criminal cases he’s facing. The former president faces a combined 88 counts across the cases, after a Georgia judge earlier this week knocked off three charges for being too vague.

Trump’s federal election interference case is on pause as the Supreme Court considers his presidential immunity appeal. In Georgia, his state election interference case has been derailed by an inquiry into the Fulton County district attorney’s romance with a subordinate. And his federal classified documents case seems bound for delay.

But if Trump’s hush money case hasn’t wrapped up by the time those cases are ready for trial, they could all be put on pause — as the 2024 presidential election, in which Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee, creeps closer.

Updated at 4:44 p.m. EDT

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