Manhattan DA opposes Trump’s demand to delay hush money trial over ‘prejudicial’ media coverage

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) office is opposing former President Trump’s demand that his fast-approaching hush money trial be delayed because of prejudicial publicity.

In court papers made public Wednesday, prosecutors argued the April 15 trial date should go ahead as planned, noting it was Trump’s eighth bid to postpone the schedule as part of his broader legal strategy to delay all four of his criminal trials beyond the November election.

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo wrote that the national attention surrounding the case isn’t likely to subside, and Trump “deliberately generates press attention himself.”

“Defendant simply cannot have it both ways: complaining about the prejudicial effect of pretrial publicity, while seeking to pollute the jury pool himself by making baseless and inflammatory accusations about this trial, specific witnesses, individual prosecutors, and the Court itself,” Colangelo wrote in the new filing.

Trump last week renewed his demand that the trial be postponed indefinitely because of the barrage of media coverage on his hush money case, which in less than two weeks is slated to become the first criminal trial of a former president. Trump claimed the coverage prejudices potential jurors, preventing a fair trial.

“[N]o fair and impartial jury can be selected in this County at any time in the near future, including in April of this year. Therefore, the Court should adjourn the trial date until the prejudicial media coverage subsides,” Trump attorney Todd Blanche wrote in the motion, which was made public last week.

Blanche had also attached a media study and polling conducted at the direction of Trump’s team that suggested a majority of Manhattan residents — which comprises Trump’s jury pool — already believe the former president is guilty.

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Bragg’s office is prosecuting Trump on 34 charges of falsifying business records, alleging the former president criminally covered up a hush money payment to conceal damaging information from the public ahead of the 2016 election. Trump pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors responded in their new filing by insisting Trump’s motion was littered with inaccuracies and matters already rejected by the judge. They also expressed doubts about the reliability of the data from Trump’s team.

“None of the new information presented by defendant supports his request for an adjournment; indeed, much of the new data actually confirms that this Court will be able to find twelve impartial jurors (and alternates) in Manhattan,” Colangelo wrote.

“This Court should accordingly decline to revisit its prior rulings and should adhere to the April 15, 2024, trial date.”

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