Trump Lawyers Seek Delay In Bragg Case Over Presidential Immunity


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has filed a motion in a New York City court seeking a delay in a case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg regarding a hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

The legal team seeks the delay until after the U.S. Supreme Court decides Trump’s presidential immunity case, Fox News reported. The trial is currently set to begin on March 24 with jury selection.

“The Court should adjourn the trial pending Supreme Court review of the scope of the presidential immunity doctrine in Trump v. United States, which is scheduled to be argued before the Supreme Court on April 25, 2024,” the motion states. It adds that the case should also be adjourned “following an evidentiary hearing outside the presence of the jury, preclude evidence of President Trump’s official acts at trial based on presidential immunity.”

Judge Juan Merchan said the trial was expected to last about six weeks when he set the court date.

Fox News added:


Bragg indicted Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in April. Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Trump and his attorneys sought to have the case dismissed altogether, but Merchan denied the request last month. 

Bragg claims Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”

In 2019, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York chose not to pursue charges against Trump in connection with the payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Additionally, the Federal Election Commission concluded its investigation into the matter in 2021.

Trump’s attorneys filed the motion following the Supreme Court’s decision last week to schedule arguments on the issue of presidential immunity for April 25, with a ruling anticipated in late June. The question currently before the high court originated from Trump’s appeal in response to charges arising from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s election interference case, Fox News reported.

“By agreeing to hear arguments on the matter, the Supreme Court has paused the Smith trial altogether. That trial was initially expected to begin on March 4 – the day before Super Tuesday,” the outlet noted further.


In requesting the high court’s review of his immunity claim, Trump’s attorneys argued “if the prosecution of a President is upheld, such prosecutions will recur and become increasingly common, ushering in destructive cycles of recrimination.”

“Criminal prosecution, with its greater stigma and more severe penalties, imposes a far greater ‘personal vulnerability’ on the President than any civil penalty,” the filing continued. “The threat of future criminal prosecution by a politically opposed Administration will overshadow every future President’s official acts – especially the most politically controversial decisions.”

The request also says that the president’s “political opponents will seek to influence and control his or her decisions via effective extortion or blackmail with the threat, explicit or implicit, of indictment by a future, hostile Administration, for acts that do not warrant any such prosecution.”

Smith charged the former president with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. These charges arose from Smith’s investigation into whether Trump was involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and any alleged interference in the 2020 election result.

Trump entered a plea of not guilty to all charges in August.

The immunity question is the second case the Supreme Court has heard this term involving the current 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner.

Last week, justices ruled 9-0 that the Colorado Supreme Court lacked standing under the Constitution to remove Trump from this year’s presidential ballot. That ruling is likely to impact other cases in several states seeking to bar him under the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection” clause.

Test your skills with this Quiz!