Advertisement

Prosecutors Request Delay Of Trump’s Hush Money Trial

In a surprise move on Thursday, prosecutors in New York asked a judge to push back former President Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial by up to 30 days in order to allow all parties time to sort through a cache of potential new evidence.

The case, centering on payments made to silence accusations of extramarital affairs in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, had been set to go to trial on March 25 as the first of its kind for a former president.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a court filing that, although his office is still prepared to begin trial on the scheduled date, they would prefer more time in light of the fact that the U.S. Attorney’s Office only recently released tens of thousands of pages of records in response to a subpoena from Trump’s legal team.

Bragg said the bulk of the new records, stemming from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s 2018 case, appears to be irrelevant to his case. But the prosecutors noted that more were expected next week, and more than 30,000 pages were released Wednesday.

The district attorney also blamed Trump for maneuvering to delay the trial, arguing that the former president’s legal team was first given records last summer yet waited some seven months to file a request for more.

Delay has been Trump’s go-to legal strategy over the past several months as he deals with charges in four other cases brought by state and federal authorities.

“The timing of the [U.S. Attorney’s Office’s] productions is a result solely of defendant’s delay despite the People’s diligence. Nonetheless, and although the People are prepared to proceed to trial on March 25, we do not oppose an adjournment in an abundance of caution and to ensure that defendant has sufficient time to review the new materials,” the prosecutors said in their filing.

“We therefore notify the Court that we do not oppose a brief adjournment not to exceed 30 days.”

Trump’s team had requested a delay of up to 90 days or a complete dismissal of the case.

His campaign communications director, Steven Cheung, falsely claimed in response to the new filing that Bragg had “conced[ed] serious discovery violations” made by his office.

“We will continue to fight to end this Hoax, and all of the other Crooked Joe Biden - directed Witch Hunts, once and for all,” Cheung said in a statement.

New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan M. Merchan will have to approve any delay, and it is unclear how he will rule.

Bragg’s case against Trump claims he falsified business records to hide payoffs to silence two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who alleged they’d had extramarital affairs with Trump, and a former Trump Tower doorman who said he knew about a child Trump allegedly fathered during an affair.

Daniels received $130,000 through former Trump attorney Michael Cohen in October 2016, days before the election, in exchange for signing a nondisclosure agreement that prevented her from airing allegations of a 2006 affair. A tabloid paid McDougal $150,000 in August 2016 for exclusive rights to her story of an alleged affair in 2006 and 2007, but the story never ran. The doorman was allegedly paid $30,000 by the tabloid in the same “catch and kill” tactic in which his story was never published.

Related...