Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

NY district attorney supports 30-day delay in Trump hush money trial

By 37ci3 Mar16,2024

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a court filing Thursday that his office did not object Donald Trumphis request to delay his hush-hush trial — just days before the former president is scheduled to face his first criminal trial while on the run for a concurrent comeback White House.

The surprise move comes after federal prosecutors began handing over tens of thousands of documents this month related to the 2018 investigation and prosecution of a former Trump lawyer. Michael CohenHe is expected to act as the main witness in court.

Bragg’s petition stated that “although the people are ready for it proceed to court On March 25, we are not opposed to an adjournment out of caution and to ensure that the defendant has sufficient time to familiarize himself with the new material.”

He added that his office is not against delaying the start of the trial by 30 days. The judge originally scheduled the trial for March 25.

If the start date is eventually pushed back, it would be another victory for Trump, whose strategy for the four criminal charges he faces is to seek delays.

In his post on the “Truth Social” social media platform, Trump accused the DA’s office of “illegally hiding thousands of pages of documents.”

“[W]Oh, people have never seen anything like this,” he said.

Trump requested a 90-day delay in the trial after the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan filed 73,000 pages of findings on March 4. Bragg said his office’s initial review of those documents was “largely irrelevant except to the subject matter of this case.” 172 pages of witness statements.

He said the U.S. attorney’s office released nearly 31,000 pages of “supplemental records” to both prosecutors and Trump’s attorneys on Wednesday, and that “additional production will continue next week.” In mid-January, a judge approved Trump’s request to subpoena additional materials from federal prosecutors.

“The timing of USAO’s productions, despite human effort, is solely the result of the defendant’s delay,” Bragg said. noted that his office received a “subset” of materials from the US attorney’s office in June and immediately turned over what they had to Trump’s attorneys.

“Despite having had access to these materials since June, the defendant did not publicly raise any concerns about the sufficiency of our efforts to obtain the materials from the USAO prior to last week; instead, the defendant waited until January 18, 2024 to subpoena the additional material,” Bragg’s said. . applied.

Trump’s lawyers blamed Bragg for the delay.

“The public should have acquired and produced these materials long ago, and instead they have chosen to try unsuccessfully to block our access to them,” they told the judge in a March 8 filing released Thursday.

They asked the judge to sanction the DA’s office for not obtaining the material earlier, accusing prosecutors of “improper and unethical actions” and “perpetuating widespread misconduct as part of a desperate effort to improve their position at a potential trial.” On false and unsupported charges in the indictment”.

They also said the newly turned over evidence was more relevant than the DA claimed, saying the documents contained “incriminating evidence” for their client and information that could be used to undermine Cohen’s credibility.

The evidence is on Cohen’s 2018 admitting guilt To multiple criminal charges, including making secret payments to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, lying to Congress about his boss’s business ties to Russia, and failing to report millions of dollars in income.

The secret payments to the women are at the heart of the DA’s case, which alleges Trump falsified business records regarding Cohen’s $130,000 payment to adult movie star Stormi Daniels in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign. In court documents In Cohen’s appeal, federal prosecutors alleged that Cohen paid the women “in coordination and at the direction” of Trump, then known only as “”.Individual-1.”

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung described Bragg’s filing as “admitting serious discovery violations.”

“We will continue to fight to end this fraud,” Cheung said in a statement.

Judge Juan Mercan, who oversaw the case in mid-February The trial was scheduled for March 25. He said he expected it to last about six weeks.

Merchan, who is not interested in defense requests for a delay during a hearing scheduled for this year, will have to rule on requests from both sides to postpone the trial date. He may order for a delay of less than 30 days or more.

Trump’s lawyers filed a lawsuit last week saying part of their defense would be that Trump “lacked the requisite intent to engage in the conduct charged in the indictment.” Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments to Daniels. He pleaded not guilty.

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By 37ci3

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