Trump hush money prosecutors won't oppose sentencing delay while ex-president fights verdict

Former US President Donald Trump comments as he leaves the courthouse after a jury found him guilty of all 34 felony counts in his criminal trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York, New York, USA, 30 May 2024.

Justin Lane | Via Reuters

Manhattan prosecutors said Tuesday they do not oppose a bid by former President Donald Trump to postpone being sentenced in his criminal hush money case while he seeks to overturn his conviction.

Attorneys for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee launched that bid on Monday, tying the move to the Supreme Court’s bombshell ruling that former presidents are entitled to “presumptive immunity” for all official acts they performed in office.

The 6-3 decision instantly threatened to alter or undermine some of the numerous active criminal cases against Trump.

The hush money case, which will likely be the only one against Trump to head to trial before the Nov. 5 presidential election, ended on May 30 with Trump’s conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

The case centered on a $130,000 payment made shortly before the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels, who says she had sex with Trump while he was married years earlier.

Trump is currently set to be sentenced on July 11.

But in their letter to Judge Juan Merchan on Monday, Trump’s attorneys asked for a July 10 deadline to submit a legal memo in support of their bid to set aside the guilty verdict.

And “because of the complexity of the issues presented,” they added, “President Trump does not object to an adjournment of the July 11, 2024 sentencing date in order to allow adequate time for full briefing, oral argument, and a decision.”

In a letter to Merchan on Tuesday morning, prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said they believe Trump’s arguments are meritless.

But “we do not oppose his request for leave to file and his putative request to adjourn sentencing pending determination of his motion,” the prosecutors wrote.

They asked for a deadline of July 24 to file their response to Trump’s proposed memo.

If Merchan grants the requests, Trump’s sentencing date will be delayed by at least several weeks.

The Supreme Court’s ruling came as part of a separate criminal case charging Trump with illegally conspiring to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

That case was put on ice for months while Trump and special counsel Jack Smith grappled over whether former presidents are immune from prosecution for their official acts.

Judges in federal district court and the federal appellate circuit in Washington, D.C., had rejected Trump’s claim of “absolute immunity” for all official acts.

But the Supreme Court’s six-member conservative majority vacated those decisions, ruling Monday that ex-presidents have “at least presumptive immunity from prosecution” for those acts.

The decision drew a vehement response from the court’s three liberal justices, including Sonia Sotomayor, who expressed “fear for our democracy” in a scathing dissent.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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