DA blasts Trump for trying to delay hush money trial over publicity

Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends a campaign event April 2, 2024 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg urged a judge to reject Donald Trump’s attempt to delay his upcoming criminal trial because of biased media coverage.

Bragg, who accuses Trump of falsifying business records in an attempt to conceal a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, said in a court filing shared Wednesday that the former president himself was responsible for the rabid press.

“Trump’s incessant rhetoric generates significant publicity, and it would be perverse to reward him with a deferment based on the media attention he actively seeks,” Bragg told New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan.

Trump “simply cannot have it both ways: complaining about the detrimental effect of pretrial publicity, while seeking to pollute the jury himself with baseless and inflammatory accusations about this trial, specific witnesses, from individual prosecutors and from the Court itself,” Bragg wrote. .

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is also wrong to claim that the deluge of publicity means he can’t get a fair jury, the prosecutor wrote.

An “indefinite adjournment” is also unwarranted, Bragg added, because media attention to the case is unlikely to wane.

Trump last month requested a “significant” delay in the trial — which is scheduled to begin jury selection on April 15 — until the publicity surrounding it “settles down.”

The request marked Trump’s eighth attempt to delay the start of the trial, Bragg noted in his filing Wednesday.

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The prosecutor argued that Trump failed to show that media coverage of the case was detrimental to him or that jury selection was tainted.

And since publicity will likely increase, the solution “is therefore to hold this trial as soon as possible,” Bragg wrote.

Trump’s lawyers argued that the pool of potential jurors had been exposed to “enormous amounts of biased and unfair media coverage” and that many of them “already wrongly believed that President Trump is guilty.”

After filing this request for a postponement, Merchan imposed a silence order prohibiting Trump from making public remarks about likely witnesses and jurors, and from making certain statements about other figures involved in the case and members of their family.

Trump responded with a social media tirade against the judge and the case, while also targeting the judge’s adult daughter because of her work for a Democratic political firm. At least one of Trump’s posts on Truth Social included the girl’s full name and photo.

Bragg on Monday urged Merchan to expand the gag order, calling Trump’s rhetoric “dangerous, violent and reprehensible.”

Merchan did so Monday night, explicitly barring Trump from attacking members of the court family and the prosecutor.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a news conference to discuss his indictment of former President Donald Trump, in Manhattan Federal Court in New York, April 4, 2023.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

“The average observer must now, after hearing the recent attacks of the defendants, draw the conclusion that if he is involved in these proceedings, even indirectly, he should not only be concerned for himself, but also for their loved ones“, Merchan wrote in this order.

“Such concerns will undoubtedly interfere with the fair administration of justice and are a direct attack on the rule of law itself.”

Trump’s lawyers are once again trying to get the judge removed from the case by pointing to his daughter’s work for Authentic Campaigns, which counts Trump’s Democratic rival, President Joe Biden, among its clients.

Merchan had already rejected an earlier recusal attempt, which also claimed the daughter’s political career created an appearance of bias.


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