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Judge delays start of Trump's New York hush money trial

The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump's New York hush money case has delayed the start of the trial from its original March 25 start date, due to discovery issues raised by the defense.

"Trial on this matter is adjourned for 30 days from the date of this letter," Judge Juan Merchan wrote Friday, which would push the new trial date to mid-April.

The judge scheduled a hearing for March 25 to address the discovery concerns.

Lawyers for Trump were seeking to delay the start of the trial in order to allow them to review tens of thousands of pages of potential evidence recently disclosed by the Justice Department.

MORE: Manhattan DA asks to delay start of Trump's hush money trial

Merchan, in his ruling Friday, said "there are significant questions of fact" he must resolve before he decides whether the Manhattan district attorney flouted its obligations to disclose potential evidence, as alleged by the defense

On Thursday, the Manhattan district attorney's office proposed a delay of up to 30 days to give the parties time to review newly disclosed material related to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

Trump's attorneys were seeking an even longer delay.

"[T]hirty days is not sufficient given the volume of recently produced materials and the nature of the ongoing disputes," Trump attorney Todd Blanche said in a letter to Judge Merchan. "Therefore, we respectfully request that the Court schedule a hearing on the pending discovery motion and the scheduling of a trial date, should one be necessary, at a time that is convenient to Your Honor during the week of March 25."

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump is driven from the Alto Lee Adams Sr. U.S. Courthouse in Fort Pierce, FL, Mar. 14, 2024. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump is driven from the Alto Lee Adams Sr. U.S. Courthouse in Fort Pierce, FL, Mar. 14, 2024. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment that Cohen made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 presidential election.

In seeking the delay, the defense also repeated its insistence that the indictment must be dismissed.

"The People's consent to an adjournment of the trial is a necessary step towards a just resolution of these proceedings, but the Court must not permit that request to obscure the need to dismiss the Indictment as a whole, or at the very least, for inquiry and fact-finding into the circumstances that put Your Honor and President Trump in this position based on ongoing discovery violations," the defense said

Jury selection for the trial is currently scheduled to get underway March 25 in New York City. The former president has denied all wrongdoing.

Judge delays start of Trump's New York hush money trial originally appeared on abcnews.go.com