Prosecutors open to delaying Trump’s hush-money trial  


The hush-money case is one of four criminal indictments against Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee….reports Asian Lite News

New York prosecutors said Thursday they are open to delaying the start of Donald Trump’s hush-money criminal trial by a month “in an abundance of caution” to give the former president’s lawyers time to review evidence they only recently obtained from a previous federal investigation into the matter.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office said in a court filing that it does not oppose adjourning the trial for 30 days but would fight the defense’s push for a longer delay. Judge Juan Manuel Merchan did not immediately rule.

Jury selection is scheduled for March 25. The hush-money case is one of four criminal indictments against Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Trump’s legal team said it has received tens of thousands of pages of evidence from the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan in the last two weeks, including records about former Trump lawyer-turned-prosecution witness Michael Cohen that are “exculpatory and favorable to the defense.” Prosecutors said most of the newly turned over material is “largely irrelevant to the subject matter of this case,” though some records are pertinent.

Trump’s lawyers want a 90-day delay, but they’ve also asked Merchan to dismiss the case entirely, alleging the last-minute disclosures amounted to prosecutorial misconduct and violated rules governing the sharing of evidence. That process, called discovery, is routine in criminal cases and is intended to help ensure a fair trial.

Prosecutors contend Trump’s lawyers caused the problem by waiting until Jan. 18 to subpoena the U.S. attorney’s office for the full case file — a mere nine weeks before the scheduled start of jury selection.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said it requested the full file last year, but the U.S. attorney’s office only turned over a subset of records. Trump’s lawyers received that material last June and had ample time to seek additional evidence from the federal probe, the D.A.’s office said.

Short trial delays because of issues with evidence aren’t unusual, but any delay in a case involving Trump would be significant, with trial dates in his other criminal cases up in the air and Election Day less than eight months away.

The defense has also sought to delay the trial until after the Supreme Court rules on Trump’s presidential immunity claims, which his lawyers say could apply to some of the allegations and evidence in the hush-money case. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments April 25.

ALSO READ: Biden opposes plan to sell US Steel to Japanese firm

[mc4wp_form id=""]