Sentencing in Trump’s hush-money trial set for September 18

In the wake of Monday’s Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity, the judge in former President Donald Trump’s New York hush-money trial has pushed back the original July 11 sentencing date to September.

Judge Juan Merchan on Tuesday postponed Trump’s 34 felony conviction sentencing now to September 18, closer to the presidential election and “if such is still necessary”, he said.

After the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling saying Trump has partial immunity from prosecution for official acts, Trump lawyers then moved to dismiss his recent New York conviction for crimes committed prior to being president, according to reports.

On Tuesday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office agreed with Merchan’s decision.

“Although we believe defendant’s arguments to be without merit, we do not oppose his request for leave to file and his putative request to adjourn sentencing pending determination of his motion,” Assistant DA Josh Steinglass wrote Tuesday in a letter.

On Monday, the ex-president’s attorneys sent a letter to Merchan, who oversaw the election interference and hush-money trial, asking for Trump’s conviction to be squashed, The New York Times, NBC News and ABC News reported, citing unidentified sources with knowledge of the development.

His original July 11 sentencing date was slated to arrive days before he is expected to officially accept the Republican presidential nomination in Milwaukee.

Trump faces up to four years in prison on September 18 when he is set to be sentenced on his 34 charges for doctoring business records to hide hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels in the run up to the 2016 election. The prosecution had argued the payments were made over fears that Daniels going public about the alleged affair would cost Trump votes.

The former president was convicted in late May in that case, but he still faces dozens of charges in three other trials.

In Washington, he is fighting four counts related to his role in attempting to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election of then-former Vice-President Joe Biden during the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

In that case, his attorneys have argued Trump is shielded by absolute presidential immunity, a claim that the government took all the way to the Supreme Court.

The justices ruled 6-3 along the ideological split Monday that Trump does enjoy some immunity for official presidential acts.

According to the reports, Trump’s lawyers asked Merchan to postpone sentencing Trump in order for his legal team to make their case that the Supreme Court’s ruling affects the New York verdict.

It has been a tactic of Trump’s legal team to postpone their client’s trials as he runs as the presumptive 2024 Republican nominee for a third time.

However, it was not fully clear if Monday’s request would have any bearing on Trump’s conviction as the prosecution’s case focused on actions Trump took before he was elected president in November 2016.

He is also fighting a second election interference case in Georgia and a third federal indictment over the mishandling of classified documents. (UPI)

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