New York judge says Trump can’t attend Supreme Court arguments on presidential immunity

The New York judge overseeing former President Trump’s hush money trial said Monday that Trump cannot attend arguments on presidential immunity at the Supreme Court next week.

It came after the judge earlier delayed a decision on allowing Trump to attend his son Barron’s high school graduation in May.

The attempts by Trump to take off certain days of his hush money trial that is expected to last weeks, if not months, came as the first day of trial was officially underway in Manhattan.

The decision to not allow Trump to be in Washington, D.C., on April 25, when the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on a presidential immunity claim Trump is making in his federal criminal case, came just before the New York trial adjourned Monday.

“Arguing before the Supreme Court is a big deal, and I can certainly appreciate why your client would want to be there, but a trial in New York Supreme Court … is also a big deal,” Judge Juan Merchan said to Trump lawyer Todd Blanche, rejecting his request to let the former president play hooky.

“I will see him here next week,” the judge added.

Under New York state law, Trump is required to attend the entirety of his trial unless he gets special permission from the judge to skip.

After court adjourned for the day, Trump suggested Merchan believes he is “superior” to the Supreme Court for preventing him from attending the high court’s oral arguments.

The former president also accused Merchan of preventing him from attending his son Barron’s high school graduation in May. The judge declined to rule one way or another on the matter earlier Monday, but did not outright deny granting the former president the ability to attend the event.

“I was looking forward to that graduation with his mother and father there,” Trump told reporters. “It looks like the judge isn’t going to allow me to escape this scam. It’s a scam trial.”

In his remarks outside the courtroom, Trump also blasted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) for attending the trial all day, suggesting that outside the courthouse people are being “mugged and killed all day long.”

The first day of Trump’s first criminal trial primarily dealt with outstanding legal matters, only turning to jury selection following an afternoon lunch break.

Trump is accused of 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment his ex-fixer, Michael Cohen, made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election to cover up an alleged affair. He has pleaded not guilty and denies the affair.

Jury selection is expected to resume Tuesday and could last several days or perhaps weeks.

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