On Tuesday, April 9, 2024, the Associated Press reported that a New York appeals court judge rejected former President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to delay his criminal trial on charges of falsifying business records related to hush money payments.

According to court documents, Trump’s lawyers filed an emergency appeal on Monday requesting that the trial, which is scheduled to begin jury selection on April 15, be postponed indefinitely while they seek to have it moved out of Manhattan to a location such as Staten Island. They argued that Trump could not receive a fair trial in heavily Democratic Manhattan due to widespread negative news coverage of other recent cases involving Trump.

However, Justice Lizbeth González of the state’s mid-level appeals court denied the request after a hearing. She sided with prosecutors who noted that the trial judge, Juan Merchan, had already rejected prior demands from Trump’s legal team to delay or relocate the trial, determining those requests were untimely.

Merchan recently expanded a gag order against Trump after the former president attacked his daughter, a Democratic political consultant, on social media. Trump’s lawyers have also claimed Merchan should recuse himself due to potential conflicts of interest arising from his daughter’s work, but Merchan has rejected that claim as well.

In denying the emergency appeal, González said jury selection should be able to proceed fairly as long as Merchan takes appropriate steps to select impartial jurors regardless of their own political views. The upcoming trial involves allegations that Trump falsified business records related to payments made during his 2016 campaign to buy the silence of two women who claimed past affairs with Trump.

With the delay request denied, jury selection is still scheduled to begin on April 15. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintained the payments were legitimate business expenses. However, this marks the latest in a pattern of delay tactics employed by Trump’s legal team in this case and others, as Trump seeks to postpone or avoid criminal trials surrounding past conduct.



Source: Associated Press