Manhattan DA fights Trump immunity arguments

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office urged a court to reject former President Trump’s efforts to toss evidence in his hush money case, claiming he is immune from prosecution for actions that took place while he was in office.

At issue are statements Trump made about the matter in 2018.

“Multiple courts have now rejected defendant’s sweeping claim that every statement he made as President is an official act enjoying absolute immunity. Here, all of the statements that are the subject of defendant’s motion involved defendant speaking in his personal capacity regarding his personal affairs,” prosecutors wrote in the Friday filing.

“Defendant invokes presidential immunity here solely as a basis to preclude certain 2018 statements he made after the conduct charged in the indictment.”

Trump on Monday sought to derail the start of the trial just two weeks before it was set to begin, suggesting the case should go on pause until the immunity issues he has raised in his other criminal cases are weighed by the Supreme Court on April 25.

“President Trump respectfully submits that an adjournment of the trial is appropriate to await further guidance from the Supreme Court, which should facilitate the appropriate application of the presidential immunity doctrine in this case to the evidence the People intend to offer at trial,” Trump’s attorneys wrote in their 26-page motion filed Monday.

Prosecutors argued that was a weak basis for seeking to stall their case and limit evidence.

“In any event, defendant’s immunity argument is meritless. The 2018 statements on which defendant bases his immunity claim are not the subject of the criminal charges here. …Regardless, the 2018 statements do not constitute official acts,” they wrote.

The case is already delayed due to another matter.

Judge Juan Merchan agreed to delay the trial by 30 days after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York turned over 73,000 pages of records in recent days that the parties will need to review.

Bragg has charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with reimbursements he made to his ex-fixer, Michael Cohen, for a hush money payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Trump pleaded not guilty.

Updated at 6:23 p.m.

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