Manhattan judge grants Alvin Bragg's request for 30-day delay in Trump's case

 March 17, 2024

Judge Juan Merchan ruled last month that former President Donald Trump's business records case would begin on March 25.

However, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg conceded on Friday that the start date will need to be pushed back. 

Judge grants 30-day delay

According to Fox News, Bragg requested that Merchan provide a 30-day extension after Trump's lawyers sought a 90-day reprieve and dismissal of charges on the grounds discovery rules had been violated.

At issue is a large amount of evidence recently released by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, which previously investigated alleged hush-money payments made by Trump to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

That includes 84,000 pages of documents turned over to the defense team on March 4 along with another 31,000 pages which were provided last Wednesday.

Fox News reported that Merchan rejected Trump's dismissal motion while agreeing to Bragg's request for an additional 30 days. He also scheduled a hearing on March 25 to discuss the new evidence.

Trump attorneys accuse Merhcan of having "preconceived bias"

The judge told the Associated Press that preparations for Trump's trial have been "intense" and stressed that he wishes "to make sure that I’ve done everything I could to be prepared and to make sure that we dispense justice,” he said in an interview, emphasizing his confidence in court staffers."

"There's no agenda here. We want to follow the law. We want justice to be done. That's all we want," Merchan went on to insist.

However, the Associated Press also noted that Trump's lawyers contend that the judge has a "preconceived bias" regarding the former president.

They recalled how Merchan presided over a fraud case involving former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg and alleged that the judge pressured him into taking a guilty plea.

Judge's daughter runs pro-Democrat consulting firm

"The Court’s prior involvement in plea negotiations with Allen Weisselberg where the Court, along with the District Attorney’s Office, attempted to induce Allen Weisselberg to cooperate against President Trump and his companies additionally requires Your Honor’s recusal," Fox News quoted the lawyers as saying in a motion to have him removed.

What's more, Merchan also imposed a $1.6 million fine against the Trump Organization, which was the stiffest penalty allowed by law.

Trump's legal team has also pointed to the fact that Merchan's daughter is the chief operating officer and president of Authentic Campaigns, a Democrat-aligned political consulting firm.

The company's clients have included Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, and Oregon Democratic Gov. Tina Kotek.

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