New York prosecutors not opposed to delay in hush money case against former President Trump

WABC logo
Thursday, March 14, 2024
Manhattan prosecutors not opposed to delay in Trump criminal trial
Darla Miles has more on what proecutors say play a role in their decision.

NEW YORK -- The Manhattan District Attorney's Office on Thursday said it is not opposed to delaying the start of its criminal trial against Donald Trump, citing newly disclosed evidence from the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan.

Trump's first criminal trial is supposed to start March 25 with jury selection in Lower Manhattan, but lawyers are expecting a trove of records to be produced next week by federal prosecutors, who investigated the same hush money payments at the center of the case years ago.

"Specifically, yesterday the USAO produced approximately 31,000 pages of additional records and represented that there will be another production of documents by next week. Based on our initial review of yesterday's production, those records appear to contain materials related to the subject matter of this case, including materials that the People requested from the USAO more than a year ago and that the USAO previously declined to provide," the district attorney's office said in a motion to the court requesting the delay.

Trump's attorneys had sought an even longer postponement of the trial, which is currently scheduled to begin March 25 with jury selection, up to 90 days, but prosecutors said that wasn't necessary.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office says defense attorneys for the former president waited until the very last minute to subpoena documents from federal prosecutors and then consented to repeated delays for those documents to be turned over.

"We note that the timing of the current production of additional materials from the USAO is a function of defendant's own delay," the DA's office said. "(D)efendant waited until January 18, 2024 to subpoena additional materials from the USAO and then consented to repeated extensions of the deadline for the USAO's determination."

RELATED: Judge denies former President Donald Trump's motion to dismiss classified documents case

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office stressed it is "ready for trial on March 25" but "do not oppose a brief adjournment of up to 30 days."

Judge Juan Merchan will still have to rule on the request and it remains unclear when that will happen.

The newly disclosed evidence relates to Michael Cohen, Trump's former fixer and attorney who pleaded guilty and served time for lying to Congress and other offenses in a case brought by the Southern District of New York.

The defense has argued allowing to Cohen to testify in the hush money case would amount to suborning perjury.

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records in connection with the hush money payment his then-attorney Cohen made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 presidential election.