The New York appeals court rejects Trump’s third request to postpone Monday’s hush money trial

(Jason Allen/Associated Press)

The New York appeals court rejects Trump’s third request to postpone Monday’s hush money trial

Election 2024


April 10, 2024

Donald Trump is now 0-3 in last-minute efforts to get a New York appeals court to postpone his impending hush-money criminal trial. An appeals court judge on Wednesday quickly rejected the latest salvo from the former president’s lawyers, who argued that he should go on campaign instead of having to defend himself in court starting next week.

Trump’s lawyers had asked the state’s mid-level appeals court to put the case on hold indefinitely as they fought to dismiss the judge and challenge several of his preliminary rulings, which they said would hinder the defense’s defense. seriously hindered the likely Republican candidate.

Judge Ellen Gesmers’ ruling, after a third straight day of emergency hearings on Trump’s delay requests, was another loss for Trump, who has repeatedly tried to delay the trial. Barring further legal action, the ruling clears the way for jury selection to begin next Monday.

Were here for this stay because there are restrictions that cannot constitutionally operate in a trial setting, Trump attorney Emil Bove argued during the hearing, which was held in the lobby of a basement courthouse because the regular courtroom was in use.

It is an incredibly important process. It’s a historic, unprecedented procedure, Bove said, adding: This can only be done once and it has to be done right.

Trump’s hush money case is the first of his four criminal charges to go to trial and would be the first-ever criminal trial of a former president.

Adding to the litany of complaints filed with the appeals court this week, Bove argued that Judge Juan Merchan exceeded his authority by refusing to delay the case until the Supreme Court rules on an immunity claim Trump made in one of had filed his other criminal cases. Trump’s lawyers argue that some evidence in the hush money case could be excluded if the Supreme Court rules in his favor.

Merchan said last week that request was too late, ruling that Trump’s lawyers had numerous opportunities to raise the immunity issue before finally doing so in March, long after a pretrial deadline had passed.

Steven Wu, chief of appeals for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, echoed that sentiment during Wednesday’s emergency hearing. He argued that Trump’s lawyers had months to raise immunity and other issues and should not be rewarded with a delay at the eleventh hour.

Delaying the trial at this point would be incredibly disruptive, Wu said. The court, the people and the witnesses have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that this trial can take place on Monday.

There is a strong public interest in ensuring that this criminal trial continues, he added.

Gesmer conducted the emergency hearing from an armchair, facing a hodgepodge of wooden chairs, a folding table and a toilet.

Trump is accused of falsifying his company’s records to conceal the nature of payments to his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who helped Trump bury negative stories during his 2016 campaign. Cohen’s activities included paying porn actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 to suppress her claims of an extramarital sexual encounter with Trump years earlier.

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

Trump has already had two arguments with the appeals court this week. An appeals court judge on Monday rejected his bid to delay the trial while he tries to move it out of Manhattan. Another judge on Tuesday denied a request, filed as part of a lawsuit against Merchan, that the trial be postponed while Trump fights a silence order imposed on him in recent weeks.

Trump’s lawyers had asked Merchan last month to postpone the trial in New York indefinitely until Trump’s immunity claim in his election interference case in Washington DC is resolved.

Trump claims he is immune from prosecution for conduct incidental to official actions while in office. His lawyers did not raise that as a defense in the hush money case, but they argued that some evidence, including Trump’s social media posts about former attorney Cohen, dates from his time as president and should be excluded from the trial because of his immunity protections.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on April 25.

Trump’s lawyers also renewed their argument that Merchan should set aside the case. They have accused him of bias and conflict of interest, citing his daughters’ work as heads of a company whose clients include President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and other Democrats.

Trump’s lawyers filed a formal recusal request with Merchan last week. The judge denied a similar request in August and has not ruled on Trump’s pending request. The judge also has yet to rule on another request for a delay from the defense, which claims that Trump will not receive a fair trial because of damaging media reporting.

“Their recusal arguments are completely worthless,” Wu argued.

Trump’s lawyers had also objected to a protocol Merchan put in place last month to manage a flood of last-minute court filings. And they revisited their complaints aired during an emergency hearing Tuesday over the gag order Merchan imposed on Trump last month, which bars him from making public comments about witnesses, jurors and others about their connections to the case.

Trump’s ability to campaign “is something protected by the First Amendment, for President Trump and the American people,” Bove argued.

Sisak and Offenhartz write for the Associated Press.


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