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Last-minute attempt from Donald Trump to delay NY hush money trial is denied by judge

Former President Donald Trump speaks to press before the start of civil fraud trial at NYS court in New York on October 2^ 2023

ABC News reports that a judge has denied former President Donald Trump’s last-minute attempt Monday to delay his criminal trial in New York and move the case out of Manhattan. The decision comes just one week before jury selection was set to start, with Judge Lizbeth Gonzalez denying it without explanation in a one-sentence order.

Trump’s attorneys had asked an intermediary appellate court to stay the April 15 trial date, arguing overwhelming pretrial publicity made it impossible to find a fair and impartial jury even with a rigorous jury selection process. In a brief argument before the Appellate Division First Department, the defense suggested that too many people in Manhattan have a negative opinion of Trump, with attorney Emil Bove arguing “in terms of prejudicial pretrial publicity in this county, this case stands alone,” adding there had not been a case with so much attention since the 1999 police killing of Amadou Diallo. Bove said: “when bias against the defendant is this engrained, has taken root to this extent, voir dire cannot be trusted to clear that up. Jury selection cannot proceed in a fair manner next week in this county.”

Steven Wu, the prosecutor with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, said there’s nothing to suggest potential jurors in Manhattan were “uniquely susceptible” to negative pretrial publicity since Trump is a well-known figure.  Said Wu: “the idea of transferring venue here is misguided. The mere fact that they know about this case is not an indication of bias … This is the defendant coming into this argument with unclean hands.”

Trump is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records after being indicted by a Manhattan grand jury in connection with a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 presidential election.  The former President has denied all wrongdoing, pleading not guilty last April.

Editorial credit: lev radin /

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