NY prosecutors say willing to delay Trump hush money trial until late April



CNN

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office is ready to delay Donald Trump's criminal trial for up to 30 days. According to court filings.

The trial is now scheduled to begin on March 25.

The potential delay calls into question the date of the former president's first criminal trial, a surprise twist that represents a major boost for Trump — whose security teams have employed a strategy of consistently trying to delay all of his trials leading up to the election. .

Trump faces criminal charges in four separate cases, but as of Thursday, the New York case was the only one with a clear trial date. While Trump's lawyers have urged him to delay, the federal election tampering case has been put on hold until the Supreme Court hears Trump's immunity claims next month. An investigation into the mishandling of classified documents Until August or even beyond the election in Florida.

In Georgia, a judge is set to rule within days on whether to disqualify the Fulton County district attorney who is suing the former president over his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Last year Trump was charged by District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office with falsifying 34 business records. The charges stem from payments to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for payments he made to an adult film actor who accused him of having an affair with Trump before the 2016 election. The former president has pleaded not guilty and has denied the affair.

The proposed delay in the New York prosecution is to give Trump's lawyers time to review new material turned over by federal prosecutors this week, the DA's office said.

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The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York sent out about 31,000 pages of discovery materials Wednesday and has more to share, according to a new filing.

“However, even if the People are willing to proceed with the trial on March 25, we do not object to an adjournment with plenty of caution and to ensure that the defendant has sufficient time to rehearse new material,” the filing said.

The documents were produced in response to a mid-January subpoena from Trump's legal team, according to the district attorney's letter. The district attorney's office said it agreed to delay the hearing because of the latest installment of 31,000 documents that arrived this week.

According to the district attorney's letter, Trump's attorneys asked for a 90-day delay in the trial — or dismissal of the case entirely — based on recent records produced by federal prosecutors over the past 10 days.

Bragg's office says it did not violate discovery protocol to dismiss the case, but says it is willing to postpone the hearing based on new records developed by federal prosecutors.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment.

Separately, Trump asked Judge Juan Mercant to delay the hearing until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs his presidential immunity request. The court is not scheduled to hear that case until April 25, and a ruling will not come until the end of the court's term in late June or early July.

In a newly filed motion last week, Trump asked a judge to allow Manhattan prosecutors to turn over relevant information too late.

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Manhattan federal prosecutors recently turned over more than 100,000 pages of documents, including documents that the Trump team says “cohen's statements were exculpatory and favorable to the defense.”

Trump's motion says the filings also indicate adult film star Stormy Daniels' “bias and intent to cash in on her position as a witness in this case, and this is particularly problematic given the prejudicial publicity.”

Many of the details that came to light in the new records turned over by federal prosecutors were redacted from Trump's move.

Trump's team accuses Bragg's office of withholding the material, but prosecutors say the Trump team's delay in issuing the subpoena led to the new information being turned over.

Trump's lawyers said Bragg's office knew about the “primary allegation” in December or earlier, but didn't turn it over to the defense until March 4.

“It is clear that the People knew that USAO-STNY had additional discoverable material, including extrinsic evidence of Cohen's criminal conduct, that was admissible on defense cross-examination,” they wrote.

Prosecutors accuse Trump lawyers of trying to block access to incriminating evidence related to former President Cohen: “It's hard to imagine a good-faith explanation for people's behavior because it's an attempt to block President Trump from getting relevant and unfair evidence.”

Bragg's office should have received the documents long ago, saying the Trump team “gathered some of the material, but left some with federal authorities in hopes that President Trump would never receive them.”

In a response letter on Thursday, Prague's office pointed the finger at Trump's team, saying the delayed preparation was a function of Trump's own delay. Prosecutors say Trump chose to wait until January to subpoena additional materials from the federal agency and raised concerns about federal records this month.

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Trump's administration said the latest document dump was produced in response to a subpoena from Trump federal prosecutors in January, as Bragg's office has been fighting Trump disclosure requests since last fall.

“The trial delay is now necessary to allow President Trump a reasonable period of time to review the new finding that the People failed to produce in a timely manner and the new finding related to discriminatory advertising,” the former president's team argues.

Trump wants the judge to block Cohen and Daniels from testifying in the trial and wait to set a new trial date until federal prosecutors fully turn over the documents.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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