Manhattan DA asks to delay start of Trump's hush money trial

Jury selection is scheduled to get underway March 25 in New York City.

March 14, 2024, 4:07 PM

The Manhattan district attorney's office told a judge Thursday that it would accept a 30-day delay to the start of the hush money case against former president Donald Trump, citing newly disclosed evidence from the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

"Specifically, yesterday the USAO produced approximately 31,000 pages of additional records and represented that there will be another production of documents by next week," the district attorney's office said in a motion to the court requesting the delay.

"Based on our initial review of yesterday's production, those records appear to contain materials related to the subject matter of this case, including materials that the People requested from the USAO more than a year ago and that the USAO previously declined to provide," the motion said.

"The People do not oppose a brief adjournment of up to 30 days to permit sufficient time for defendant to review the USAO productions," the DA's office wrote.

Trump's attorneys had sought an even longer postponement of up to 90 days for the trial, which is currently scheduled to begin March 25 with jury selection -- but prosecutors said that wasn't necessary.

"We note that the timing of the current production of additional materials from the USAO is a function of defendant's own delay," the DA's office said. "[D]efendant waited until January 18, 2024 to subpoena additional materials from the USAO and then consented to repeated extensions of the deadline for the USAO's determination."

PHOTO: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a news conference, March 7, 2024, in New York.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a news conference, March 7, 2024, in New York.
Barry Williams/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 presidential election. The former president has denied all wrongdoing.

The newly disclosed evidence relates to Cohen, who pleaded guilty and served time for lying to Congress and other offenses in a case brought by the Southern District of New York in 2018.

The defense has argued that allowing to Cohen to testify in the hush money case would amount to suborning perjury.

The U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment to ABC News regarding the office's production of the Michael Cohen material at issue.

In a separate filing in the case Thursday, Trump's defense attorneys asked the judge in the case to sanction the DA's office over the late disclosure of documents related to Cohen.

"The People have engaged in widespread misconduct as part of a desperate effort to improve their position at the potential trial on the false and unsupported charges in the Indictment," the defense motion for sanctions said.

The motion cites some 73,000 pages turned over on March 4 by the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.

"[T]he People should have collected all of these documents long ago. Instead, they collected some materials but left others with the federal authorities, in the hope that President Trump would never get them," the defense motion said.

The DA's office is due to respond by Friday.

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