Judge orders delay in Trump hush money trial until at least mid-April

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The delay was forced by release of thousands of documents from a defunct federal investigation into Trump that could involve Michael Cohen or other witnesses.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks after the arraignment of former president Donald Trump in New York on April 4. NEW YORK — The judge overseeing the expected first criminal trial of Donald Trump, which was due to begin this month, has pushed it back until at least mid-April, saying that lawyers need more time to review a fresh set of potential evidence and that he wants to hear arguments about whether the material was handled properly.

The judge had scheduled a pretrial hearing March 25 to discuss the dispute over evidence and a motion from Trump’s lawyers seeking to throw out the case or, short of that, bar testimony from key witnesses, including Cohen and the adult-film actress, Stormy Daniels.“The court will set the new trial date, if necessary, when it rules on Defendant’s motion following the hearing,” Merchan wrote.

is accused of scheming to cover up his payment of hush money in 2016 to hide from the public an alleged sexual liaison years earlier with Daniels. The former president, who is again running for the White House and has clinched the Republican nomination, has pleaded not guilty in the case and denies an affair with Daniels.have argued that evidence from the federal investigation is critical to being able to defend their client from the state charges.

the evidence was not strong enough to charge Trump for several reasons — chief among them, their concerns about Cohen’s credibility as a trial witness, according to people familiar with the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations. Ultimately, prosecutors decided it did not make sense to file federal criminal charges against a former president on an issue that was a close call legally and depended on a star witness with a terrible track record, these people said.

The second set of papers, totaling some 31,000 pages, was described somewhat more ominously by Bragg in his filings. “Those records appear to contain materials related to the subject matter of this case, including materials that the People requested from the more than a year ago and that the previously declined to provide,” Bragg wrote.

Source: Law Daily Report (lawdailyreport.net)

 

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