Judge in Trump hush money case rejects presidential immunity defense

The judge presiding over Donald Trump‘s falsifying business records case shot down his bid to use presidential immunity as part of his defense, finding the former president waited too long to raise the issue.

In his ruling Wednesday, Judge Juan Merchan also denied Trump’s motion to delay the trial’s start date until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on his immunity claims in the federal election interference case in Washington, D.C.

Trump had contended in a New York filing last month that he’s immune from state prosecution based on “official acts,” and that some of the evidence against him should be kept out of the impending trial because they were official presidential acts — including his tweets and public comments. His lawyers also argued that the trial, now scheduled to start April 15, should be put on pause pending the Supreme Court’s ruling on Trump’s immunity arguments.

Merchan rejected the request, saying Trump had waited too long to raise the argument. “This Court finds that Defendant had myriad opportunities to raise the claim of presidential immunity well before March 7, 2024” but failed to do so, the judge wrote.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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