Trump’s ‘hush money’ trial to start April 15 after judge denies his bid to further delay case — as ex-prez’s fraud bond reduced to $175M

Donald Trump’s trial will begin in Manhattan on April 15, according to a ruling made by a Manhattan judge. The decision denied the former president’s request to delay the case or dismiss it.

A last-minute document dump was the reason why the 77-year old’s attorneys sought to dismiss his case at Manhattan Supreme Court.

Justice Juan Manuel Merchan found, after a 70 minute hearing, that prosecutors gave Trump “reasonable time” to sort through the thousands of pages of newly revealed evidence in Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams case against Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen.

Merchan, who was sitting at the bench, said, “This court finds the DA not to be at fault for late production of documents.” Trump shook both his heads twice and then looked downward.


Trump, dressed in his navy blue suit with his red tie of choice, sat in silence in the courtroom during the entire hearing.

He declared, “This is a sham, this is a ruse” before entering the courtroom.

He told reporters that after the hearing ended that it was “a disgrace” to have the case go to trial in the middle of the presidential election.

“This case could have been filed three and a quarter years ago. They are fighting for days now because they want to do this during an election. This is interference in the election. It’s just election interference. “It’s an election interference disgrace,” said he.

Trump pleaded guilty to 34 felony charges last year after allegedly concealing $130,000 in payments to pornstar Stormy Daniels as “hush money”.

The Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump will now be the very first of four criminal cases that he has brought to trial. It will also be the first criminal trial ever of a former US President.

Merchan’s decision Monday came after the Judge grilled prosecutors, and Trump’s attorneys about why 46,000 documents of evidence regarding Cohen were only handed over by Manhattan US Attorney’s Office in this month.

Cohen, who fought Trump in his civil lawsuit last year as a key witness, will be expected to play a prominent role at his criminal trial.

The prosecutors said that there is little new information in the cache and no need to further delay the trial. Assistant District Attorney Matthew Colangelo stated that the number of usable, relevant documents was “quite small,” around 300.

Todd Blanche’s attorney, Todd Trump, retorted, “We strongly disagree”, saying that the number of relevant documents totaled thousands.

Merchan ripped Blanche repeatedly during the hearing. He said that Trump’s attorney had falsely accused Bragg’s office of “prosecutorial misconduct” despite Bragg’s “due diligence” in turning over relevant files to defense.

The judge said to Blanche, “You heard one set facts and interpreted them as the people doing nothing ….I interpreted it as people going above and beyond the requirements that it is odd that we’re even here.”

Merchan questioned also why Trump’s legal staff had only requested the federal files in January, two months prior to the trial date. This was despite the fact that they could have done so last summer.

Trump is accused of lying about his payments to Cohen in company documents for the entire year 2017 by claiming that he paid him for “legal services”, when he reimbursed his loyal formal lawyer for settling Daniels.

It is a misdemeanor to falsify business records. It becomes a felony if it is done to conceal another crime. Federal prosecutors said Cohen’s payment to Daniels violated federal law because it exceeded the limit of $2,700 for personal contributions made to a candidate.

At a later press conference on Monday, Trump blasted Manhattan prosecutors who were pursuing him for “not even a criminal offense.”

He said, “We are being tried for a thing that is not even a criminal.” “They say it’s at best a misdemeanor but there is no misdemeanor.” We have violent criminals who are killing and murdering others. “We have drug dealers everywhere and they are free to do anything they want. But they come after Trump for this crime that is not even a criminal.”

Trump has tried repeatedly to delay all four of his criminal proceedings until after the November presidential election.

The ruling on Monday came just minutes after Trump was granted a reprieve by a New York State appeals court for his separate civil fraud trial, where he had been found responsible for inflating his assets’ value.

The appeals court has ruled that Trump must post a $175 million bond — a reduction from the initial $454 million total — to stop enforcement of the judgment while he appeals.