Prosecutors willing to delay Trump’s hush-money trial to review new records | Donald Trump

Manhattan prosecutors on Thursday said they are willing to delay Donald Trump’s trial on charges related to making hush-money payments for up to 30 days so they can review records newly obtained from federal authorities.

The request has the potential to delay the proceedings, which were to begin with jury selection on 25 March in New York and would be the first of the four criminal indictments against the former US president to go to trial.

The office of the district attorney, Alvin Bragg, told the court that they were open to the delay because they had received from federal prosecutors about 31,000 page of records, and expected more next week.

“Based on our initial review of yesterday’s production, those records appear to contain materials related to the subject matter of this case, including materials that the People requested from the [US attorney’s office (USAO)] more than a year ago and that the USAO previously declined to provide,” prosecutors wrote.

Trump’s lawyers have asked to either delay for 90 days or for the charges to be dropped against him, alleging violations of the discovery process, in which the defense and prosecution shares evidence with each other. Prosecutors have said a delay of that length is not necessary.

The New York case centers on allegations Trump directed his former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, to pay adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet before the 2016 election about a sexual encounter she says they had a decade earlier, and then falsely recorded his reimbursement to Cohen as legal expenses.

Trump, who recently clinched enough delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination and is expected to face off against Joe Biden in November, denies the encounter with Daniels and has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsification of business records.

Last month, prosecutors said they planned to introduce evidence of a “pressure campaign” by Trump in 2018 to ensure Cohen did not cooperate with a federal investigation into the payment to Daniels. Cohen pleaded guilty that year to violating campaign finance law.

In their motion, Bragg’s office noted “that the timing of the current production of additional materials from the USAO is a function of defendant’s own delay”.

“[D]efendant waited until January 18, 2024 to subpoena additional materials from the USAO and then consented to repeated extensions of the deadline for the USAO’s determination,” the office wrote.

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Trump, alongside 18 co-defendants, is also facing charges in Georgia for allegedly meddling in the state’s 2020 election results in order to block Biden from winning its electoral votes.

At the federal level, the justice department special counsel Jack Smith has indicted him on charges that he plotted to keep Biden from entering the White House. He has separately accused Trump of taking classified government documents with him after his presidency, and conspiring to keep them out of the hands of authorities sent to retrieve them.

Trump is the first former president to face criminal charges, and a conviction could upend what is expected to be a hard-fought rematch against Biden, who has struggled with poor approval ratings for most of his presidency. However, Trump’s three criminal cases outside New York are facing delays as judges weigh pre-trial motions and appeals, and it is unclear if any will be resolved before the 5 November election.

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