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HomeNewsAppeals Judge Rejects Trump’s Request To Delay Hush-Money Trial

Appeals Judge Rejects Trump’s Request To Delay Hush-Money Trial

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A New York appeals court has denied Donald Trump’s request to delay his hush-money criminal trial and petition to change the venue of his upcoming trial. The former President’s attorneys urged the court to postpone the trial on Monday, April 8, 2024.

A picture of Donald Trump during hush-money trial
Source: nypost/X

Trump’s attorneys argued that he could not get a fair jury in New York, suggesting a venue change. However, Associate Justice Lizbeth González denied the motion to stop the trial after hearing arguments. The decision came a week before jury selection was to start.

According to the New York Times, Trump was ready to sue the judge in his New York hush-money case. Notably, this will be another attempt by the former President to delay legal proceedings against him.

The former President’s attorneys also said they are filing a petition against Judge Juan Merchan’s gag order. For context, Merchan barred Trump from publicly discussing witnesses in the upcoming trial, including court and district attorney’s office staff and families. However, they didn’t argue that on Monday.

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At the hearing before the appeals court, Trump’s attorney, Emil Bove, rehashed a survey referenced in Trump’s previous motion. The motion seeks to postpone the trial based on pretrial publicity. But the judge has not ruled on that motion. “In terms of pretrial publicity in this county, this case stands alone,” Bove said.

Facing 34 criminal charges related to hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star, Trump has pleaded not guilty. He has repeatedly attacked the judge in the case, Merchan, and his family members, alleging political bias. The trial will be the first criminal trial involving a former US president.

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Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Chief of Appeals Steven Wu condemned the petition. He argued it was too late for Trump’s lawyers to make the petition when it was so close to the start of the trial. He said the proper process is for Trump to renew a request for a change of venue.

Wu said the question was not what Trump’s poll says but whether selection can seat 12 impartial jurors and alternates. “Defendant has assumed throughout this argument here that publicity here is inherently prejudicial,” Wu said. “The facts do not bear this out.” 

Furthermore, Wu said the articles, for the most part, are “even-handed coverage” of the case, summarizing the allegations. He argued that a case of this kind attracts international attention. Wu claimed that nothing in Trump’s filings suggests New Yorkers in the county are incapable of being fair.

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“The mere fact that jurors know about this case is not an indication of bias,” Wu said. “This is the defendant coming into this argument with unclean hands because the publicity in large part is his own.” Trump is attempting to delay all cases against him until after the presidential election in November, claiming political persecution.

If he defeats Biden in the election, he could dismiss the federal charges in the classified information case. Also, he could ensure the dismissal of four charges of election subversion. However, state charges would be more challenging to deal with.

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