Trump loses bid to delay hush money trial pending gag order appeal

April 10, 2024 11:12 am

[Source: Reuters]

Donald Trump on Tuesday lost his second last-ditch bid in as many days to delay his April 15 trial on criminal charges stemming from hush money paid to a porn star.

The former U.S. president’s lawyers argued at a hearing in a mid-level state appeals court that the trial should be delayed to give him a chance to challenge a gag order in the case.

Associate Justice Cynthia Kern swiftly denied the delay request, but a full panel of appeals judges will later consider the Republican presidential candidate’s underlying challenge to the gag order.

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Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, in a statement called the trial a witch hunt and said the legal team would continue to fight against it.

A separate judge on Monday denied Trump’s request to delay the trial while he tries to move the case out of heavily Democratic Manhattan.

His lawyers said a survey of Manhattan residents they conducted showed 61% of respondents thought Trump was guilty and 70% had a negative opinion of him.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Trump’s lawyer Emil Bove said Justice Juan Merchan’s order restricting his public comments should be modified to let him respond to public criticism leveled by potential witnesses in the case.

“The First Amendment harms arising from this gag order right now are irreparable,” Bove said.

Merchan imposed the order last month barring Trump from verbal attacks on potential witnesses, court staff and individual prosecutors after finding he made statements in various legal cases that the judge called “threatening, inflammatory” and “denigrating.”

The judge expanded the order to cover his relatives and those of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg after Trump disparaged Merchan’s daughter online.

The order does not restrict Trump’s speech about Merchan or Bragg.

Steven Wu, a lawyer with Bragg’s office, said at Tuesday’s Appellate Division hearing that the trial should not be delayed since Trump’s lawyers could have made the appeal earlier.