Trump loses third effort to delay criminal trial this week

A New York appeals court on Wednesday declined an effort by former President Donald Trump to delay his criminal hush money case for the third time this week.

Trump’s attorneys sought an interim stay on the trial for three reasons, citing Justice Juan Merchan’s refusal to recuse from the case for an “appearance of impropriety,” Merchan’s requirement for the defendant to ask permission before filing new motions, and Merchan’s denial of Trump’s ability to invoke presidential immunity to object to certain exhibits during the trial.

The former president has been using a maneuver under New York state law known as an Article 78 proceeding, which involves suing the judge for his past decisions.

Steven Wu, a lawyer for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, said that Trump’s lawyers had brought the requests too late.

“There is a powerful public interest in ensuring that this criminal trial go forward,” Wu said, according to Reuters.

Trump’s effort on Wednesday marked the latest in a series of last-ditch bids to stop jury selection from commencing on Monday, which would be the first time a former president has ever faced a criminal trial. His three appeals over the last three days will now go before a full five-judge panel for consideration, but likely not before jury selection begins.

The two other attempts to delay the trial were already rejected by individual judges earlier this week. One judge denied Trump’s bid to delay the trial over the former president’s effort to move the case out of Manhattan, and another judge rejected an attempt related to the gag order imposed on the former president.

Trump is facing 34 counts of falsifying business records. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, an elected Democrat, alleges Trump sought to conceal a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels to hide her allegations of a years-old affair in the final weeks of his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump denies the affair and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.


Merchan is also currently weighing a motion that Trump filed in his court to recuse him based on allegations that his daughter works for a progressive firm that has made millions of dollars off of Democratic candidates, such as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who have actively championed the criminal indictments against him.

It’s unclear when or if Merchan will make a decision in response to that order, though it’s possible he could respond to it before the trial is slated to begin on April 15.

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