Appeals Court Rejects Trump’s Plea To Delay Hush-Money Trial

A New York appeals court dismissed Donald Trump’s bid to delay his upcoming hush-money criminal trial, scheduled for April 15, while he attempts to relocate the case from Manhattan. This decision came one week before jury selection was to begin.

During an urgent court session, Trump’s legal team requested a trial postponement, suggesting a change of venue from the predominantly Democratic Manhattan.

On Monday, the New York Times reported that Trump was preparing to legally challenge the judge overseeing his hush-money lawsuit in New York, just one week before the start of the highly anticipated trial.

This marks another attempt by the former president to delay legal proceedings against him.

The publication, drawing on sealed court filings and information from two anonymous sources, detailed Trump’s efforts to delay the trial’s start date and challenge a gag order issued by the judge.

The article stated, “Mr. Trump’s unconventional move – essentially an appeal in the form of a lawsuit – is unlikely to succeed, especially so close to the trial start date.”

Facing 34 charges related to payments made to silence Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who alleges an affair with him, Trump has maintained his innocence. He has repeatedly criticized Judge Juan Merchan and his family, accusing them of political bias.

The trial is set to begin next Monday in Manhattan, marking the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president.

According to the Times, Trump also intends to ask an appeals court to move the trial from Manhattan, citing his former residency there and its Democratic tendencies. However, this move is unlikely to succeed.

Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney and now a law professor and commentator, commented on the improbability of Trump’s strategy to sue Judge Merchan, likening it to a previous tactic used in Florida.

He stated, “But it won’t happen here. Imagine if a criminal defendant could do this.”

The lawsuit, known as an Article 78 action under New York law, challenges decisions made by state agencies and judges.

Additionally, Trump faces 54 more criminal charges: 40 in Florida related to possessing classified information after his presidency, and 14 charges related to his efforts to contest the 2020 election results – 10 in Georgia and four in Washington, D.C.

Trump is also facing significant financial penalties in two New York civil cases: one for tax fraud and another for defamation related to a rape accusation deemed “substantially true” by a judge.

Trump denies all allegations against him, claiming they are the result of political vendettas. He seeks to delay all ongoing legal proceedings against him until after the November presidential election.

Should he win against Joe Biden and return to office, he aims to have federal charges in the classified information and election interference cases dismissed. However, state charges would pose a greater challenge.

In the New York hush-money case, Judge Merchan recently denied a request to postpone the trial until the U.S. Supreme Court decides on Trump’s immunity claim for actions taken while in office, related to the election interference case.

Moreover, Merchan has dismissed a previous recusal request and is expected to do so again if another is made.