Hush Money Judge Refuses Trump’s Request To Delay Trial Again

The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s hush money case refused to delay the trial any longer, despite a plea to wait until the Supreme Court has ruled on a claim of absolute presidential immunity.

Judge Juan Merchan rejected the final attempt to push the case beyond April 15, when jury selection is set to begin in Manhattan, saying the former president’s request was “inadequate and not convincing.”

“This Court finds that Defendant had myriad opportunities to raise the claim of presidential immunity well before March 7, 2024,” the judge wrote. “After all, Defendant had already briefed the same issue in federal court and he was in possession of, and aware that, the People intended to offer the relevant evidence at trial that entire time.”

“The circumstances, viewed as a whole, test this Court’s credulity.”

Trump's hush money case could be the first of his four indictments to go to trial.
Trump’s hush money case could be the first of his four indictments to go to trial.

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The trial was initially set to begin with jury selection on March 25, but Merchan pushed the start date to April 15 after prosecutors handed over a new batch of documents. The hush money allegations stem from before Trump’s presidency, but his attorneys have pointed to prosecutors’ plans to use his public statements and social media history from his time in the White House during the trial.

The hush money case could be the first of Trump’s four indictments to go to trial. If so, it will be the first time ever that a former president is prosecuted. The allegations center on payments made to the adult film star Stormy Daniels in the final days of the 2016 presidential election to quash her claims of an extramarital affair.

Trump has been charged with 34 felony counts linked to claims he falsified business records to hide the hush money payments. He has pleaded not guilty and sought to see the case dismissed. His attorneys have also asked the judge to recuse himself twice.

Trump has largely been successful in his efforts to see the indictments against him held up until the end of the year, beyond the next presidential election. The Supreme Court has paused his 2020 election interference trial in Washington, D.C., until it makes a decision on his claims of immunity. And the case into his handling of classified documents has yet to receive a trial date as the judge entertains Trump’s broad claims over his ability to keep such material.



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