Skip to Content

Trump is trying everything he can to delay this month’s hush money criminal trial

<i>Mike Roemer/AP via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump takes to the stage before speaking on April 2 in Green Bay
Mike Roemer/AP via CNN Newsource
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump takes to the stage before speaking on April 2 in Green Bay

By Jeremy Herb, Kara Scannell and Lauren del Valle, CNN

(CNN) — Donald Trump’s lawyers are still pursuing multiple avenues to try to delay the start of the president’s criminal New York hush money trial that begins April 15, although none of them have much of a chance of succeeding.

Trump’s attorneys have filed a motion to postpone the criminal trial because of the publicity surrounding it – a request already been rejected by Judge Juan Merchan previously.

The former president also renewed a request this week for Merchan to recuse himself because of his daughter’s political work for Democratic politicians. Merchan dismissed that request last year, too.

For months now, Trump’s team has pushed for a delay of the New York trial on a number of fronts, as part of the former president’s broader strategy of trying to push back all of his trials until after the 2024 election.

Trump’s motions to recuse and postpone the trial are two of several outstanding issues that Merchan still needs to decide on before the trial starts on April 15.

Merchan appears unlikely to be swayed on any of those fronts to push back the trial further – though the judge did delay the trial last month for three weeks after a late production of discovery documents.

Trump’s lawyers had also filed a motion last month to delay the trial until the Supreme Court rules on presidential immunity. The Supreme Court won’t hear the immunity arguments until April 25, with a ruling not expected until June. But Merchan on Wednesday denied that motion, saying it was untimely and noting Trump’s lawyers had months to file a motion over the issue.

“The fact that the Defendant waited until a mere 17 days prior to the scheduled trial date of March 25, 2024, to file the motion, raises real questions about the sincerity and actual purpose of the motion,” Merchan wrote.

Merchan previously ruled that Trump’s lawyers can object when prosecutors introduce evidence at trial that they believe is tied to presidential acts but did not address the issue further in Wednesday’s ruling.

At the March 25 pre-trial hearing, Trump’s team asked Merchan to let them file a motion to adjourn because of pre-trial publicity, arguing that there’s been negative news coverage over Trump’s other trials and that the district attorney shouldn’t have waited until this close to the election to bring its case against Trump.

Manhattan prosecutors in a filing Wednesday urged Merchan to reject the motion, as he has done previously, arguing that pretrial publicity is not going to stop, and that any biased jurors could be weeded out through jury selection.

“Because this trial is a criminal proceeding against a former president, the press attention will be substantial regardless of when (or, for that matter, where) this trial is held,” prosecutors wrote in a filing to the judge. “Defendant appears to acknowledge that there is no end in sight to public coverage of this criminal proceeding, laying bare his strategy of obtaining an open-ended delay of the trial.”

“The answer to defendant’s complaint about pretrial publicity is thus to hold this trial sooner rather than later,” prosecutors said.

Trump’s lawyers on Monday asked Merchan to file a motion seeking his recusal, which is expected to be filed later this week, arguing that his daughter’s work for Democratic political group Authentic Campaigns was grounds for recusal.

“The trial in this case will benefit Authentic financially by providing its clients more fodder for fundraising, Authentic will make more money by assisting with those communications, and Your Honor’s daughter will continue to earn money from these developments by virtue of her senior role at Authentic,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

The district attorney’s office responded by noting that Merchan already rejected a similar recusal request last year.

“Defendant’s own careful wording reveals the multiple attenuated factual leaps here that undercut any direct connection between Authentic and this case: Authentic has received money from ‘entities’; those entities are ‘associated with’ politicians; and those politicians have raised money based on this case,” prosecutors wrote. “This daisy chain of innuendos is a far cry from evidence that this Court has ‘a direct, personal, substantial or pecuniary interest in reaching a particular conclusion.’

Last year, Merchan rejected a similar motion to recuse over his daughter’s political work. “This Court has examined its conscience and is certain in its ability to be fair and impartial,” Merchan wrote.

On Monday, Merchan expanded his gag order restricting Trump’s public commentary on witnesses and staff involved in the case to also cover his family. Merchan made the change at the district attorney’s request after Trump went after the judge’s daughter on Truth Social.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges relating to the hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and denies having an affair with Daniels.

This story has been updated with new developments.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content