Donald Trump makes last-ditch effort to delay hush money trial

Donald Trump makes last-ditch effort to delay hush money trial

Donald Trump wants Manhattan court to hold hush money trial until Supreme Court decides on “presidential immunity” case

Former President Donald Trump. — AFP File

Former President Donald Trump has sought to delay his upcoming trial in New York, where he faces allegations of paying hush money to a porn star. 

The former president wants the Manhattan court to wait until the Supreme Court decides on his claim for “presidential immunity” in another criminal case.

The Manhattan trial will take place March 25. The case stems from an incident that happened prior to Donald Trump becoming office. 

During the time, he allegedly paid money to a porn star to cover up a 2016 affair. Crucial information, however, relates to Trump’s post-election activities.

Trump’s lawyers, Todd Blanche and Susan Necheles, have called upon Justice Juan Merchan to postpone the trial until the Supreme Court makes a ruling on the immunity issue sought by the former president. They expressed concerns about evidence from Trump’s presidential tenure, including a 2018 “pressure campaign” targeting his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The lawyers argued that statements made by Trump on his official Twitter account during his presidency should be covered by presidential immunity. They fear that without such immunity, future presidents might face manipulation through the threat of prosecution by political opponents.

This isn’t the first time Trump has used the presidential immunity argument. He has invoked the argument in all four of his criminal cases, spanning efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia to alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving the White House.

Legal experts said that Trump’s immunity claim is unlikely to succeed. However, they added that he has effectively delayed his federal election case by several months.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on this matter on April 25, with a decision expected by June.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, responsible for prosecuting Trump, has not commented on the request to delay the trial. Special counsel Jack Smith recently called his immunity argument “so wholly without merit that it is difficult to understand it except as part of a strategic effort for delay.”

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