Trump Asks Hush Money Trial Judge to Sanction Prosecutors, Rejected

Judge Juan Merchan has rejected former President Donald Trump’s legal team’s request to sanction prosecutors after a last-minute document insert. Prosecutors initially sent in almost 200,000 pages of evidence just a few weeks before the former President’s business fraud trial’s initial start date. The evidence was initially from a previous investigation into Trump regarding his hush money scandal with adult film star Stormy Daniels.

The large evidence insert led Judge Merchan to delay the trial from March 25th, 2024, to April 15, to allow Trump’s defense team to go over the material before the trial started. During a court hearing in March, Judge Merchan rejected Trump’s defense team’s claims that the ongoing case had been tainted under the laws of prosecutorial misconduct. With that, Trump’s legal team wanted the trial to be pushed back further, or prevent key witnesses Stormy Daniels and former attorney Michael Cohen from testifying. Trump’s legal team would have also settled for the case being thrown away entirely, all of which Judge Merchan denied.

Judge Merchan defended his rejections by stating that Trump would not suffer any prejudice from the documents due to the judge giving the defendant’s legal team more time to review and prepare for their upcoming case.

Trump’s legal team has also called out Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg for intentionally failing to pursue evidence from a 2018 federal investigation that landed Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen in federal prison. In March, Judge Merchan stated that Bragg and the DA office had no obligation to collect evidence from the previous investigation, which Trump’s defense team believes Briggs did so to gain advantage and sabotage Trump’s election chances.

Trump’s hush money trial began a little over a month ago and has so far received testimonies from 22 witnesses, including Cohen and Daniels, and is also the first historic criminal trial of a U.S. president, which is set to receive closing arguments this week.