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Manhattan DA: New documents shouldn’t delay Trump prosecution in hush money case

The Manhattan district attorney’s office prosecuting former President Trump’s hush money case indicated in a court filing Thursday that no further trial delays were warranted after a trove of new documents punted what was supposed to be the start of the criminal proceeding.

Trump’s lawyers had asked for a minimum 90-day delay to review more than 100,000 pages of records unexpectedly turned over by federal prosecutors last week. Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the case, ultimately delayed the start of Trump’s hush money trial by one month after Bragg’s office consented to a 30-day delay out of an “abundance of caution.”

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) said in a new court filing Thursday that the records obtained by the U.S. attorney’s office contain “only limited materials relevant to the subject matter of this case and that have not previously been disclosed to defendant.” The prosecutors argue that the 30-delay is “a more than reasonable amount of time” to review the documents.

“The overwhelming majority of the production is entirely immaterial, duplicative or substantially duplicative of previously disclosed materials, or cumulative of evidence concerning Michael Cohen’s unrelated federal convictions that defendant has been on notice about for months,” the memorandum states.

Prosecutors estimated that fewer than 270 documents — which are related to Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen’s federal criminal case — are relevant and that were not previously disclosed. They argue no further adjournment is needed other than what was already ordered due to the “limited amount of new information.”

The prosecutors also pushed back on Trump’s legal argument that the district attorney failed to comply with their discovery obligations. They argue that there can be no discovery violation because the documents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York were not part of the prosecutor’s “disclosure obligations.”

The prosecutors called the allegations by Trump’s team “wild and untrue” in their memorandum.

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records connected to reimbursements he made to Cohen for a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. He has pleaded not guilty.

His trial was scheduled to start Monday, but it has been pushed back to at least mid-April. There will instead be a hearing on Monday to discuss the schedule and the new trove of documents.

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