Trump wants the hush money trial in New York to be postponed until the Supreme Court rules on immunity claims

(Mike Stewart/Associated Press)

Trump wants the hush money trial in New York to be postponed until the Supreme Court rules on immunity claims

Election 2024


March 11, 2024

Donald Trump is seeking to postpone his March 25 hush money trial until the Supreme Court rules on presidential immunity claims he made in another of his criminal cases.

The lawyers of the Republican former presidents


On Monday, Manhattan Judge Juan Manuel Merchan asked to postpone the criminal trial in New York indefinitely until Trump’s immunity claim in his Washington DC election interference case is resolved. Merchandise was not immediately in charge.

Trump claims he is immune from prosecution for conduct incidental to official actions while in office. His lawyers argue that some of the evidence and alleged actions in the hush money case overlap with his time in the White House and constitute official actions.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on April 25, a month after the scheduled start of jury selection in Trump’s hush money case. It is the first of his four criminal cases to go to trial as he closes in on the Republican presidential nominee in his quest to retake the White House.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment. Prosecutors are expected to respond to Trump’s delay request in court filings later this week.

Trump first raised the immunity issue in his criminal case in Washington, D.C., which alleges he worked to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the lead-up to the violent riot by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol on 6 January. 2021.

Judge sets March trial date in Trump’s hush money case in New York

The hush money case centers on allegations that Trump falsified his company’s internal records to conceal the true nature of payments to his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who helped Trump bury negative stories during his 2016 presidential campaign. Cohen paid porn actor, among others Stormy Daniels $130,000 to suppress her claims of an extramarital sexual encounter with Trump years earlier.

Trump’s lawyers argue that some of the evidence Manhattan prosecutors plan to introduce during the hush money trial, including posts he posted on social media in 2018 about money paid to Cohen, stemmed from his time as president and constituted official acts.

Trump pleaded not guilty last year to 34 felony counts of falsifying company records. He has denied having a sexual encounter with Daniels, and his lawyers argue that the payments to Cohen were legitimate legal fees and not part of a cover-up.

A federal judge last year rejected Trump’s claim that the allegations in the hush-money suit related to official duties, rejecting his attempt to move the case from state court to federal court. Had the case been moved to federal court, Trump’s lawyers could have sought to have the charges dismissed on the grounds that federal officials have immunity from prosecution for actions taken as part of their official duties.

Trump asks the Supreme Court to delay his election interference trial while claiming immunity

The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that this was the case


purely a personal item of the president, a cover for an embarrassing event, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein wrote last July. Hush money paid to an adult film star has no connection with the official actions of a president. It in no way reflects the color of the President’s official duties.

Trump’s lawyers appealed Hellerstein’s ruling, but dropped the appeal in November. They said they did this with prejudice, which meant they couldn’t change their minds.

The question of whether a former president is immune from federal prosecution for actions in office is legally untested.

Prosecutors in the Washington, D.C. case have said that no such immunity exists and that, in any case, Trump would not have taken any of the actions in the indictment accusing him of conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election after he lost to Democrat Joe. Biden counts as official acts.

The Washington judge and a federal appeals court both ruled against Trump, but the Supreme Court last month agreed to reconsider the case and issue a decision that delays the federal case in Washington and creates new uncertainty about when it could come to trial.

Sisak writes for the Associated Press. AP reporter Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.


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