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Trump asks to delay New York hush money trial until the Supreme Court rules on presidential immunity several months from now

Attorneys for Donald Trump want to delay the start of his upcoming New York criminal trial until the US Supreme Court weighs in on presidential immunity, according to a new motion – a ruling that may not come until late June.

The criminal trial related to hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to adult film star Stormy Daniels is scheduled to begin with jury selection on March 25.

But Trump wants to wait until after the Supreme Court rules on immunity. The justices are not scheduled to hear that case until April 25, and a ruling may not come until the end of the court’s term in late June or early July.

“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,” the motion made to New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan states.

In what is set to be his first criminal indictment to go to trial, Trump faces 34 counts of falsified business records for reimbursements he made to his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who issued hush money payments to Daniels before the 2016 election to stop her from going public about an alleged affair with Trump a decade earlier. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied the affair.

According to the filing from Trump’s attorneys, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has indicated prosecutors want to bring in public statements and Twitter posts Trump made in 2018 while he was president but haven’t given his defense sufficient notice about the extent of the evidence they want to show the jury.

Renewing Trump’s familiar arguments over presidential immunity, his legal team says those statements Trump made about Daniels and his payments to Cohen should be excluded because he was acting in his official capacity as president.

Trump’s lawyers also requested that Merchan hold an evidentiary hearing after the US Supreme Court rules on the presidential immunity issue to then determine what evidence of Trump’s “official acts” should be precluded based on presidential immunity.

“While the concept of presidential immunity is firmly established, the doctrine’s scope presents a ‘serious and unsettled question of law.’ Therefore, the Court should adjourn the trial until the Supreme Court resolves Trump v. United States for several reasons,” Trump’s motion says.

“Waiting to try the case until after the Supreme Court addresses the question before it – following oral argument just next month – will likely simplify the application of the defense to evidentiary issues raised by the People’s motions in limine.”

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