Home » Judge delays Trump’s hush-money trial amid last-minute evidence dump by feds

Judge delays Trump’s hush-money trial amid last-minute evidence dump by feds

by John Jefferson
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A judge on Friday delayed former President Donald Trump’s hush-money criminal trial by 30 days to give his defense lawyers time to go through a large amount of recently obtained evidence from a previous federal investigation on the matter. 

Judge Juan Merchan agreed to a 30-day postponement and scheduled a March 25 hearing to address questions about the Justice Department evidence dump.

The Justice Department had notified Trump’s legal team and the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg that it planned to produce 15,000 records of potential evidence on Friday. The DOJ investigated the hush-money payment matter while Trump was president. 

The U.S. Attorneys Office said much of the material is unrelated to the state case against Trump. The federal prosecutors have already provided at least 104,000 pages of records — 74,000 of which initially went just to Bragg’s office and not to Trump’s lawyers. 

Bragg’s office has since turned over those 74,000 pages to the defense. 

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The records from federal prosecutors pertain to a federal investigation that touched on the hush-money matter and led to prison time for former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Bragg previously said he wasn’t opposed to a delay of the start of the trial for up to 30 days to give Trump’s legal team time to review evidence that was recently turned over. 

Trump’s lawyers were seeking a 90-day delay or a dismissal of the charges against him, arguing there were violations in the “discovery process,” whereby both sides exchange evidence. Defense lawyers claimed a 30-day adjournment was “insufficient” and asked Merchan to schedule a hearing on discovery.

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Split of Donald Trump and Alvin Bragg.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records stemming from alleged hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress, during his 2016 presidential campaign. 

The hush money case centers on allegations that Trump falsified his company’s records to hide the true nature of payments to Cohen, who paid Daniels $130,000 during the 2016 presidential campaign to suppress her claims of an extramarital sexual encounter with Trump years earlier.

Trump has denied having a sexual encounter with Daniels. 

Federal prosecutors in 2018 charged Cohen with campaign finance violations related to the hush-money payments, with evading taxes related to his investments in the taxi industry and with lying to Congress.

Lawyers for Trump have argued that evidence from the federal investigation is crucial to his defense in the New York state case being prosecuted by Bragg. 

Fox News Digital’s Bradford Betz as well as The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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