Trump’s Legal Pileup May Delay New York State Trial, Judge Says

(Bloomberg) -- A New York judge indicated he may be willing to delay Donald Trump’s hush-money trial after the former president’s lawyers complained it’ll conflict with a federal trial in Washington.

Most Read from Bloomberg

The New York case is scheduled for March 25 and the former president is also due to go on trial March 4 in Washington on charges he illegally attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The government has estimated the Washington prosecution could last six weeks.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan said in a Sept. 1 letter that was made public Monday that he won’t hold any hearings on Trump’s request to delay the trial until Feb. 15. “We will have a much better sense at that time whether there are any actual conflicts and if so, what the best adjourn date might be for trial,” the judge wrote.

Trump also faces two other criminal trials and two civil trials as he seeks the Republican Party’s nomination for president, highlighting not only the legal hurdles his lawyers confront defending him but also the pileup of cases his judges face. The March 4 Washington trial is scheduled a day before the Super Tuesday primaries.

In the New York case Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a $130,000 payment to adult-film actor Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election to buy her silence about an alleged sexual encounter she had with the former president a decade earlier.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington last month ordered Trump to go to trial on March 4 over his efforts to overturn the election, while the former president also faces a May 20 trial in federal court in Florida for his handling of classified documents. Meanwhile, a Georgia case tied to Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election has yet to be scheduled.

During an Aug. 28 hearing, Chutkan said she’d spoken “briefly” with Merchan about the overlap issue but didn’t share details about what they discussed. A spokesman for Merchan has declined to comment.

“The trial in that case will necessarily conflict with the scheduled trial in this case,” Trump’s lawyers Todd Blanche and Susan Necheles said in an Aug. 30 letter to Merchan. The March federal case will require their “full attention,” they wrote.

The case is The People of the State of New York v. Donald Trump, 71543/2023, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.