Trump seeks delay of hush money trial over ‘prejudicial' press coverage, as he slams the case

  • Donald Trump is seeking a "significant" delay to his hush money criminal trial because of "damaging pretrial publicity" that makes it impossible for him to get an impartial jury.
  • That request came before Trump launched a torrent of social media posts attacking Judge Juan Merchán and Merchán's adult daughter.
  • Merchan imposed a gag order prohibiting Trump from speaking about potential witnesses and other figures in the case, including porn star Stormy Daniels and Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen.

Lawyers of donald trump have asked a judge for a "significant" delay of their imminent offender money for your silence rehearsalarguing that the Republican presidential candidate cannot get a fair jury because of "prejudicial pretrial publicity."

The trial on charges of falsifying business records should be postponed until press coverage "decreases," Trump's lawyers wrote last week in a presentation in the New York Supreme Court.

But in the wake of that request, Trump himself has publicly questioned the integrity of the trial through a torrent of social media posts attacking the presiding judge and the judge's adult. daughter.

These messages occurred after Judge Juan Merchán imposed a silence order prohibit Trump from speaking about possible witnesses and other figures involved in the case.

The gag order does not explicitly prohibit Trump from attacking the judge himself. Prosecutors on Thursday asked Merchan to "clarify or confirm" that the order protects family members from court.

Trump, in a series of recent Truth Social posts, has called for Merchan to be recused from the case, accusing him of political bias. Several of those posts reference Merchan's daughter's work for a Democratic political firm, and at least one of them includes her full name and photograph.

But in their court filing requesting a delay in the trial, Trump's lawyers argued that it was the press, not the former president, that tainted the jury.

Citing a survey of 400 New York residents, the lawyers wrote: "It is clear that prospective jurors in Manhattan have been exposed to enormous amounts of biased and unfair media coverage regarding this case."

"Many potential jurors already mistakenly believe that President Trump is guilty," the document said.

They also noted a finding in a "media study" that many articles included "damaging discussions of other proceedings involving President Trump and inaccurate and irrelevant discussions of alleged sexual misconduct, including false claims about 'rape.'"

Trump, in a separate federal civil trial last year, was found responsible for sexually abusing writer E. Jean Carroll in the mid-1990s and then defaming her decades later.

The defense attorneys' filing also claimed that the Manhattan District Attorney's Office has "used strategic leaks" in its prosecution of Trump on charges of falsifying business records to conceal a money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

The filing also accused the district attorney's office of scheduling the sentencing of former Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg, who last month pleaded guilty to perjury – close to the trial date in a deliberate move to generate more news coverage.

Weisselberg will be sentenced on April 10, five days before jury selection in the hush money trial begins.

The filing also contends that continued criticism of Trump by two key trial witnesses, Daniels and Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen, underscores that he "cannot get a fair trial in New York County at this time." .

"Therefore, the Court should postpone the trial date until the prejudicial media coverage subsides," the attorneys wrote.

The filing is dated March 18, but was made public last week after a court hearing on a different attempt by Trump to dismiss the impeachment or move the trial to a later date.

At that hearing, Merchan ordered jury selection to begin April 15 after rejecting claims by Trump's lawyers that the district attorney's office had violated evidence-sharing rules. But the judge allowed those attorneys to file their motion to postpone the trial because of negative press coverage.

"The news that has been generated is not a result of President Trump," defense attorney Todd Blanche said at that hearing.

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo responded that the possibility of the trial being delayed due to media coverage is "extremely unlikely."

Publicity in the case, the first of four criminal cases against Trump going to trial, will not abate, Colangelo told the judge.

The prosecutor also noted that this intense media coverage "has been provoked and exacerbated" by Trump.

Merchan gave the district attorney's office one week to submit its full response.

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