Judge delays Trump hush money trial in New York as possibility arises of dismissing the case

Judge delays Trump hush money trial in New York as possibility arises of dismissing the case



The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial in Manhattan, New York has agreed to delay its start, adding more uncertainty to the legal calendar for the former US leader.


The trial had been scheduled to begin on March 25 but now a new trial date is yet to be determined.




The announcement follows a contentious back-and-forth between the Manhattan district attorney’s office and the Trump legal team over the production of tens of thousands of documents turned over this month by the Department of Justice.


A March 25 hearing will address the events specifically surrounding the documents turned over this month, as well as Trump’s motions to dismiss the case and sanction District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office over what he says are repeated discovery violations.



“There are significant questions of fact which this Court must resolve before it may rule on Defendant’s motion,” Judge Juan Merchan wrote Friday. “Therefore, the Court agrees with Defendant that a prompt hearing is required on the pending discovery motion, the circumstances surrounding the document production by the USAO-SDNY and the scheduling of a trial date, if one is necessary.”

“Trial on this matter is adjourned for 30 days from the date of this letter on consent of the People. The court will set the new trial date, if necessary, when it rules on Defendants motion following the hearing,” the judge added.


Legal scholars reportedly believe the delay shows that Merchan is concerned about the dispute over document production.



“The judge’s letter tells me he is taking the defense allegations seriously,” Honig said. “The judge now has demanded that prosecutors provide him chapter-and-verse details on how the documents came to be produced so belatedly to the defense.”

Merchan ordered the parties, namely Trump, to avoid scheduling any commitments that would compete with the new trial timeline based on the 30-day delay.

The parties must file a detailed timeline of the events surrounding document requests and productions from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York including all correspondence by March 21.



Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records, stemming from reimbursements made to Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen for hush money payments he made before the 2016 election to an adult film star alleging an affair with Trump. The former president has pleaded not guilty and denied the affair with Stormy Daniels.


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