Manhattan DA criticizes Trump for delaying trial over hush-money, but is open to further delay

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced on Thursday that he is willing to temporarily postpone the trial involving former President Donald Trump. This trial, which pertains to hush-money and election interference, is currently set for March 25. With numerous indictments and appeals surrounding Trump, the decision to delay the trial will allow for additional time to address the ongoing legal proceedings.

In the 3-page notice, Bragg criticized Trump for causing delays that prevented the former president’s motion to adjourn. However, Bragg stated that prosecutors are ready to proceed with the first criminal prosecution of a former president in just over a week. Despite this, they do not oppose Trump’s motion to pause the proceedings, although not for the 90 days he requested.

According to Bragg, his office is open to postponing the trial for a month. This would allow Trump to thoroughly review the extensive evidence and relevant records in discovery. Bragg emphasizes that he has been reviewing these documents since June 2023.

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According to the motion, the district attorney’s office recently provided Trump with 31,000 records. However, these records seem to include materials that are relevant to the case at hand, including materials that the People of New York had requested from the U.S. Attorney’s Office over a year ago, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office had previously refused to provide.

Another production is scheduled for next week, as Bragg mentioned.

According to Bragg, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has produced approximately 73,000 pages of records since Trump’s motion to adjourn was filed. However, Bragg stated that most of these records are “irrelevant”.

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Trump would have had ample time to review 172 pages of witness statements before the trial.

According to Bragg, the delay in the production of additional materials from the USAO is a result of the defendant’s own actions.

The district attorney also clarified that when prosecutors requested the complete grand jury records associated with Michael Cohen’s campaign finance convictions from the U.S. Attorney’s Office last year, they obtained a variety of materials. These materials included tapes, witness lists, grand jury subpoenas and their returns, as well as other exhibits presented to the grand jury. Additionally, the records contained exculpatory information related to Trump’s fixer in the hush-money scandal.

According to Bragg, the USAO provided a portion of the requested materials, which were disclosed to the defendant on June 8, 2023, over nine months ago.

He made it clear:

Despite having access to those materials since June, defendant raised no concerns to the People about the sufficiency of our efforts to obtain materials from the USAO before last week; instead, defendant waited until January 18, 2024 to subpoena additional materials from the USAO and then consented to repeated extensions of the deadline for the USAO’s determination. The timing of the USAO’s productions is a result solely of defendant’s delay despite the People’s diligence.

Bragg, however, stated that a 30-day adjournment would be enough.

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