New York court rejects Trump's request to delay trial over judge's bias

 April 10, 2024

An appeals court in New York rejected a request from Donald Trump to delay his "hush money" trial as he continues to press for the judge's recusal over apparent bias. 

The decision all but guarantees that the trial will begin in Manhattan on Monday, April 15.

It was the third time this week that the appeals court declined to delay the proceedings, as Trump raises a number of concerns about his basic rights being denied.

Trump's third request for a delay was based on concerns of bias with the judge, Juan Merchan, and his failure to recuse himself despite his daughter's lucrative work for Democratic candidates.

Trump's request denied

In a ruling Wednesday, Justice Ellen Gesmer rejected Trump's request to delay the trial while he continues to litigate his concerns with Merchan.

A lawyer for the judge said there is "absolutely no evidence to show that Judge Merchan will stand to benefit from the outcome of this trial."

But Trump's lawyers told the appeals court that Merchan has a "mandatory obligation" to step aside because of the "unacceptable appearance of impropriety" created by his daughter's work.

"This can only be done once, and it must be done right because of the impact it will have on this election," defense lawyer Emil Bove told Justice Gesmer.

Trump's legal team also cited their challenge of a ruling from Merchan rejecting Trump's claim of presidential immunity. Merchan said Trump waited too long to raise the issue when he did in March.

Show trial?

Lawyers for Trump previously asked the New York appeals court to delay the trial over limitations on his speech and problems with obtaining an impartial jury, but both requests were denied.

Trump is under a gag order imposed by Merchan, who recently expanded the speech ban to block criticism of the judge's family.

Critical witnesses in the case, like Stormy Daniels, are free to speak freely but Trump does not enjoy the same liberty.

“The First Amendment harms arising from this gag order right now are irreparable,” Bove told the appeals court this week.

While the hush money case is generally seen as the least serious of the four criminal trials Trump is facing, he faces a tough road to acquittal in overwhelmingly liberal New York.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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