July 20, 2024

Donald Trump’s ‘Hush Money’ Sentencing Likely to be Delayed

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By Reporter

The Manhattan district attorney’s office, led by Alvin Bragg, said in a letter on Tuesday to Juan Merchan, the judge presiding over the case, that it did not oppose Trump’s request for a delay as he seeks to set aside the verdict, despite its view that the former president’s arguments are “without merit.”

If the judge agrees, the delay would give Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the White House, yet another legal respite that could strengthen his political hand with just four months to go until November’s presidential election.

Trump was set to be sentenced on July 11 after being convicted of 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with what prosecutors alleged was a conspiracy ahead of the 2016 election to buy the silence of a porn actor with whom he had an affair.

It was the first of four criminal cases against him to go to trial and the first time a former US president had been convicted of a crime.

Trump’s lawyers have asked the New York court to set aside that verdict in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, arguing that prosecutors should not have been allowed to present evidence related to what he claimed were his official actions — such as social media posts or public remarks — as president during trial.

Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The former president had previously lost a push to move the hush money case from state to federal court after a district court judge ruled he had failed to show the conduct at issue in the indictment “is for or relating to any act performed by or for the president under colour of the official acts of a president.”

The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday held former presidents would still be subject to criminal prosecution for their private acts while in office.

But it is increasingly unlikely that any of the other three criminal cases pending against Trump will reach trial before election day.

Other indictments accusing Trump of seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election and of mishandling classified documents are facing lengthy delays amid legal wrangling between the former president and US prosecutors.

Trump is increasingly seen as the frontrunner heading into November as concerns rise about his Democratic rival Joe Biden’s age and fitness for office following a disastrous debate performance last week.

While few public opinion polls have been conducted since the debate, Trump has a 1.4 point lead nationwide, according to the FiveThirtyEight average, and is ahead in several swing states.

The Biden campaign circulated a memo late on Monday showing Trump ahead of the president by two points in the key battleground states that are likely to decide the election outcome.

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