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Dhaka Tribune

New York judge delays Trump's March 25 hush money trial

  • Trump is facing four criminal cases
  • ‘We will continue to fight to end this hoax’
Update : 16 Mar 2024, 07:40 PM

The New York judge presiding over Donald Trump's trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs ordered a delay Friday in proceedings that had been scheduled to get underway on March 25.

"Trial on this matter is adjourned for 30 days from the date of this letter on consent of the People," Judge Juan Merchan said in a court filing that will push the trial to at least mid-April.

The exact date will be determined at a hearing on March 25 which will also address complaints by the defense team about the disclosure of evidence ahead of trial, the letter said.

Prosecutors preparing to try Trump, the first former US president to face criminal prosecution, said Thursday they would accept a delay of up to 30 days after both sides received a deluge of case documents.

Trump, seeking a comeback as the Republican candidate in this year's election, is accused of covering up hush money payments related to his successful 2016 bid for the White House.

“Hurting me”

"An immediate adjournment is appropriate," Trump's legal team wrote on Thursday in a letter to the judge.

But it argued "30 days is not sufficient given the volume of recently produced materials and the nature of the ongoing disputes."

Prosecutors say Trump illegally covered up remittances to his longtime aide Michael Cohen to reimburse him for payments made to bury stories revealing Trump's alleged extramarital sexual relations with porn star Stormy Daniels and a Playboy model. He denies the charges.

A New York grand jury indicted Trump in March 2023 over the payments made to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

A Trump campaign statement said the former president and his attorneys "have been consistent and steadfast that this case has no basis in law or fact, and should be dismissed."

"We will continue to fight to end this hoax," it said.

In a historic first, Trump is facing four criminal cases as he campaigns to retake the White House, with his legal teams working to delay any trial starts until after the November 5 vote.

In one of them, in which Trump faces trial in Georgia for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election results, the judge ruled Friday against his legal team's efforts to disqualify the top prosecutor over claims of an improper relationship.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said District Attorney Fani Willis could remain on the high-profile case, as long as her lead prosecutor, Nathan Wade, stepped aside.

Trump, who has seized on his legal woes to portray himself to his right-wing supporters as persecuted by the Democrats, has claimed the charges are "just a way of hurting me in the election."

President Joe Biden and Trump have already amassed enough delegates in their party primaries to clinch the nominations, all but assuring a rematch and setting up one of the longest election campaigns in US history.

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