Trump loses tenth attempt to delay hush money trial, this time over his gag order

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  • Trump hoped to delay his first criminal trial by arguing that he needs time to fight his gag order.

  • A Manhattan appellate judge denied his request, leaving the April 15 trial date in place.

  • Trump is continuing to appeal his gag, which bars statements about witnesses, jurors, and others.

Donald Trump lost his tenth attempt to delay his hush money trial on Monday — this time over his gag order.

Trump had hoped to delay his first criminal trial long enough to mount a full appeal of the gag.

Associate Justice Cynthia Kern, an appellate judge in Manhattan, denied the delay bid after brief arguments by prosecutors and defense lawyers Monday morning.

Kern's written decision did not give a reason for the denial, which allows his April 15 trial to proceed.

Her decision also allows Trump to continue appealing his gag order, which his lawyers say is causing "ongoing, irreparable harm" to both the GOP presidential candidate and the voting public.

Prosecutors complained on April 3 about what they called "defendant's eighth request to adjourn the start of this case."

That effort, yet decided by the judge, seeks a delay due to "pretrial publicity."

Since then, Trump filed two more delay bids, both turned down by Manhattan appellate judges this week, bringing his total to ten attempts to push back the trial date.

On Monday, Trump lost an emergency bid to have the trial moved out of Manhattan. That appellate effort can continue — the parties' change of venue motions are due by April 22 — but that won't impact the April 15 trial date.

Trump's gag order, the focus of Monday's hearing, bars him from interfering with the trial by making statements about witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, and the family members of District Attorney Alvin Bragg and state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan.

Trump's public statements about the case are merely "intemperate and rude," defense attorney Emil Bove told the judge, citing language from last year's Court of Appeals decision in Trump's DC election interference case.

Prosecutors "are not alleging that any of President Trump's statements rise to the level of incitement," or causing a clear and present danger to others, Bove argued.

Bove also repeated previous defense arguments claiming that the gag harms not only Trump, but the public, which has a right to hear the former president's unfiltered opinions on key witnesses.

The public especially has the right to hear Trump denounce the Democratic leanings of the trial judge's daughter, Loren Merchan, a political consultant who has worked for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, he said.

The attacks on Merchan are part of a motion to recuse the judge and should be fair game, Bove argued.

The top appellate lawyer for Bragg, Stephen Wu, countered on Monday that Trump's statements "predictably lead to a barrage of attacks" by the former president's followers.

"There has already been difficulty in finding witnesses in our case to come in and testify, including witnesses who are doing nothing more than testifying about record keeping for the company," Wu said, an apparent reference to current or former employees at Trump Organization.

"They know what their name in the press may lead to," Wu told the appellate judge.

With just one delay bid yet to be decided, odds remain good that the trial will stay on course for jury selection to start April 15.

Prosecutors allege Trump falsified 34 business documents to hide a $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

They say that the payment, which silenced Daniels only 11 days before the 2016 election, violated tax and campaign finance laws.

Falsifying business documents is usually a misdemeanor under New York law, but the charge rises to a felony if the falsifications were committed to hide an underlying crime.

Trump has denied falsifying the documents and has repeatedly insisted he did not have sex with Daniels.

Read the original article on Business Insider