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New York judge rejects Trump’s bid to delay hush-money trial until immunity ruling

Lawyers for the presumptive Republican nominee had asked to adjourn the New York trial indefinitely.

A US JUDGE has rejected a bid by Donald Trump to delay his 15 April hush money criminal trial until the Supreme Court rules on the presidential immunity claims he raised in another of his criminal cases.

The judge in the Manhattan case, Juan M Merchan, deemed the former US president’s request untimely, ruling that his lawyers had many opportunities to raise the immunity issue before they finally did so in a court filing on 7 March. 

Lawyers for the presumptive Republican nominee had asked to adjourn the New York trial indefinitely until Trump’s immunity claim in his Washington DC election interference case is resolved.

Merchan previously condemned Trump’s lawyers for missing a filing deadline, waiting until two-and-a-half weeks before jury selection to raise the immunity issue and failing to “explain the reason for the late filing”.

Trump contends he is immune from prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.

His lawyers argue some of the evidence and alleged acts in the hush money case overlap with his time in the White House and constitute official acts.

Last week, Merchan issued a gag order barring Trump from making public statements about witnesses, prosecutors, court staff and jurors in his upcoming criminal trial.

Prosecutors had asked for the gag order citing what they called his “long history of making public and inflammatory remarks” about people involved in his legal cases.

The gag order adds to restrictions put in place after Trump’s arraignment last April that prohibits him from using evidence in the case to attack witnesses.

With reporting from Press Association

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