NY hush money probe: Trump uses money probe to delay criminal case

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Former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago on April 12, 2024 in Palm Beach, Florida.



CNN

Used by former President Donald Trump His first criminal trialA trial in New York is scheduled to begin Monday to delay a jury trial on the most serious federal charges in Florida.

In the latest attempt to take advantage of the conflicting court schedule, Trump on Saturday asked U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon to delay a May deadline to review classified evidence in the criminal case. A-Lago Estate.

Trump will not meet the deadline, his lawyers said in a filing, because he will stand trial on the federal charges in Manhattan. That investigation — into allegations that Trump falsified business records to cover up hush payments to cover up an alleged affair with an adult movie star before the 2016 election — will last until June.

But Trump and his chief defense attorneys, Todd Blanche and Emil Bowe, cannot be in two places at once, they said.

“President Trump has a constitutional right to be present at the hearing in New York and, as a result, cannot participate in this work regarding important areas of his defense,” Trump's attorneys wrote in a filing to Cannon.

When the former president's legal team enters a Manhattan courtroom Monday, the case over the Mar-a-Lago documents will come to a screeching halt. The classified documents case has stalled in Florida federal court, and Trump's defense team has already dramatically reduced the time they spent on the criminal case over the past six weeks.

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Cannon, who is overseeing the case, has yet to set a trial date, has a few other deadlines on the calendar and a backlog of legal disputes he has yet to resolve.

Also, the sensitive nature of the information handled in the case makes it difficult for attorneys to pursue any work outside of Florida. The next step in their work will require detailed discussions between Trump and his legal team at a secure facility in remote Fort Pierce, Florida, people familiar with Trump's legal team said.

In Saturday's filing, Trump's lawyers said meeting the deadline for rehearing the testimony “would require lengthy classified submissions and extensive time at SCIF to prepare and discuss those submissions, which President Trump and his lawyers do not have during the trial, which is set to begin in New York.”

Federal prosecutors from the special counsel's office are also trying to keep up the pressure on the case in Florida, making it clear to Cannon that they believe Trump's team should be ready for their arguments on classified records already in the security case.

“They've had classified discovery for months now … and they're well immersed in it,” attorney Jay Pratt said at the March hearing, adding that the fight over classified documents “leads to how the case is presented at trial.”

In his filing on Saturday, Trump's lawyers said the special counsel's office had indicated it was “not acceding” to the request to push back the deadline.

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