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Judge declines to postpone Trump hush money trial, will consider whether to relax gag order

Judge Cynthia Kern rejected Trump’s proposal to postpone the April 15 trial.

A New York appeals court judge has refused to postpone the April 15 trial in former President Donald Trump’s hush money case. The full First Appellate Division will consider later this month whether to relax the limited gag order as Trump has requested.

The full Appellate Division panel will now consider three elements in the coming weeks that could affect former President Trump’s upcoming criminal trial in New York.

As early as Monday, the same day the trial is scheduled to begin, the appeals court could decide to delay the trial while it considers Trump’s appeal of the silence order and a separate ruling that keeps the case in Manhattan.

By April 22, parties must submit written arguments regarding the change of venue. By April 29, parties must submit written arguments regarding the silence.

Trump’s defense lawyer, Emil Bove, argued Tuesday morning that the silence created “irreparable harm” because the former president could not respond to attacks from expected trial witnesses Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels, and that he was preventing him from criticizing any of the court’s prosecutors. case and speaking in favor of a recent motion to recuse the judge because of his daughter’s conduct.

Kern responded skeptically to Trump’s request for a stay of the entire proceeding, questioning how the silence order is different from a similar order that was upheld in Trump’s interference case in federal elections.

“Mr. Cohen and Ms. Clifford are publicly attacking President Trump in a completely different way than any witness in any of these cases,” Bove argued.

Steven Wu, an attorney for the Manhattan district attorney, pushed back on the stay request, telling the court “the undisputed history” of Trump’s disparaging remarks — including calling witnesses “losers,” “horseheads” and “disturbed psychopaths”. “

“The criminal trial should take place regardless,” Wu said. “This is the very moment when it is most important to ensure that the defendant’s extrajudicial statements do not harm the trial.”

Wu expressed concern that Trump’s remarks put others in the “line of fire” and could impact witness participation in the trial.

“It’s already been difficult to find witnesses in our case to come and testify,” Wu said.

Trump’s lawyers have already complained that the gag order is crippling the presumptive Republican nominee, both in his political campaign and in his legal defense.

The challenge is structured using an administrative motion against Judge Juan Merchan, who barred Trump from attacking witnesses, prosecutors and court staff.

Mercan recently extended the silence to include members of his family after Trump repeatedly attacked the judge’s daughter over her work for a Democratic political consulting firm.

Trump previously challenged a limited silence order in his civil fraud case using the same method. He was granted a temporary reprieve before the full appeals court upheld the silence order in the case.

Last April, Trump pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment accusing him of falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment that his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, had paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 presidential election.

Jury selection for the trial is currently scheduled to begin April 15 in New York.

News Source : abcnews.go.com
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