Prosecutors blast Trump's effort to further delay his criminal hush money trial

The DA says recently turned over potential evidence contains "limited" new info.

March 21, 2024, 3:33 PM

Former President Donald Trump's request for a lengthy adjournment of his criminal hush money trial in New York based on recently disclosed potential evidence is "a red herring" and part of a "strategic delay," prosecutors said Thursday in a court filing.

Tens of thousands of pages recently turned over by federal prosecutors contain a "limited amount of new information" and do not warrant the months-long delay Trump is seeking, the filing said.

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 U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York recently produced several batches of materials related to its prosecution of Cohen, which the district attorney's office said was largely duplicative of past productions or irrelevant to the case.

Trump's attorneys accused the Manhattan district attorney's office of withholding evidence and demanded the delay, the dismissal of the indictment and limits on testimony Cohen and others can give. The district attorney's office said the defense was pushing "wild and untrue allegations of misconduct and malfeasance" and urged the judge to reject Trump's requests.

"Defendant's accusations are wholly unfounded, and the circumstances here do not come close to warranting the extreme sanctions he has sought," assistant district attorney Matthew Colangelo wrote.

New York Judge Juan Merchan last week delayed the start of the trial until at least mid-April, and prosecutors said that adjournment "is a more than reasonable amount of time for defendant to review the information."

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump arrives at his rally in Greensboro, NC, March 2, 2024.
Former President Donald Trump arrives at his rally in Greensboro, NC, March 2, 2024.
Jonathan Drake/Reuters

Prosecutors said most of what the U.S. attorney's office turned over was "entirely immaterial, duplicative or substantially duplicative of previously disclosed materials."

"[T]he People now have good reason to believe that this production contains only limited materials relevant to the subject matter of this case and that have not previously been disclosed to defendant: fewer than an estimated 270 documents, most of which are inculpatory and corroborative of existing evidence," Colangelo wrote.

Prosecutors pushed back on the idea that the production from federal prosecutors merits "severe sanctions" because "the additional materials is entirely a function of [the] defendant's own strategic delay."

"In the People's judgment, most of these documents are inculpatory and corroborative of existing evidence. Most of the remaining data from the March 13 production -- i.e., the majority of the documents -- appear to have nothing whatsoever to do with this case," the filing said.

Judge Merchan has scheduled a hearing in the case on Monday.

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