Judge Merchan Will Not Postpone Trump’s Hush-Money Trial Over Presidential Immunity Claim

(NationalUSNews.com) — On Wednesday April 3, New York Judge Juan Merchan denied the motion to delay Trump’s hush-money trial until after the Supreme Court rules on whether he is protected from criminal prosecution by presidential immunity. The Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing arguments about possible presidential immunity on April 25.

This case, alleging that former president Trump arranged to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about an extramarital encounter with Trump in 2006, is slated to begin jury selection on April 15. Trump has denied both the affair and paying any hush-money to Daniels.

A jury that may be already prejudiced against the former president due to extensive media coverage of the trial was also cited by Trump’s legal team as a reason for the delay. However, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg believes that should be rejected outright because he claims that much of the media attention that could affect a potential jury is being driven by Trump and his team. Bragg added that to concede that would be to reward Trump for the efforts he has made to draw attention to the case.

Trump’s team did commission a private poll that suggested that public attention could cause prejudice on the jury’s part, but Bragg commented that he believed Trump’s own “incendiary rhetoric” is more to blame for stoking public opinion than anything else. He suggested that Trump is trying to “have it both ways” by complaining about jury prejudices while also fanning the flames of public interest. Prosecutors have also argued that the jury selection process is traditionally used to weed out any jurors with biases.

Judge Merchan claims that Trump waited too long to make the request, citing many times when he could have done so before the March 7 filing. Trump’s lawyers are once again requesting that Judge Mechan recuse himself due to the perception of conflict of interest as Mechan’s daughter works as a Democratic political consultant. Mechan declined a similar request last year and is expected to reject this one as well.

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