Trump's NY sentencing delayed to Sept. 18 after Supreme Court ruling – USA TODAY

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Trump's NY sentencing delayed to Sept. 18 after Supreme Court ruling – USA TODAY

Donald Trump‘s sentencing in his New York hush money case was delayed to Sept. 18 to address if the historic conviction should be thrown out after the Supreme Court’s Monday ruling that presidents enjoy broad immunity from criminal prosecution.
“TOTAL EXONERATION!” Trump wrote on Truth Social after the news broke, although the delay doesn’t exonerate him in the case. Trump added that the “Supreme Court’s Brilliantly Written and Historic Decision” ends all the “Witch Hunts” against him.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
A Manhattan jury found Trump guilty on May 30 of 34 counts of falsifying records tied to a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.
However, Trump’s legal team sent a letter to Judge Juan Merchan on Monday seeking permission to file a motion arguing that the verdicts should be wiped out.
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The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office suggested Tuesday that may be grounds to delay Trump’s sentencing, currently scheduled for July 11.
“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,” prosecutors said in a Tuesday letter to Merchan.
More:Major media outlets push for live coverage of Trump’s sentencing in ‘hush money’ case
In a Tuesday decision, Merchan agreed to push the sentencing to Sept. 18, “if such is still necessary” after he has ruled on the immunity issue.
The New York hush money case centered on a series of 2017 payments Trump, by then in the White House, made to his then-lawyer Michael Cohen. Prosecutors said the money was used to reimburse Cohen for a $130,000 payment he made to Daniels to buy her silence before election day over an alleged tryst with Trump.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that courts should presume official presidential acts are immune from prosecution, although prosecutors can rebut that presumption by showing the prosecution doesn’t risk intruding on the authority and functions of the executive branch. The high court also ruled that presidents are absolutely immune from prosecution for actions undertaken in a president’s sole constitutional authority. Unofficial acts may still be prosecuted.
Under the ruling, prosecutors can’t introduce evidence about official conduct even when an indictment is targeting unofficial conduct, Trump’s lawyers noted in their letter to Merchan. They specifically targeted witness testimony during the trial of events in the Oval Office, social media posts by Trump during his presidency, and records of Trump’s calls while president.
More:In historic ruling on presidential immunity, Supreme Court says Trump can be tried for private acts
In early April, Merchan rejected Trump’s plea to delay the trial based on presidential immunity, ruling Trump brought the argument too late.
Merchan said Trump raised the issue March 7, well after a 45-day period provided under New York law for filing pre-trial motions, even though Trump knew for a long time that the presidential immunity defense was available to him.
Merhan also noted that Trump submitted court filings on the immunity issue in his federal election interference case in the fall and discussed the issue when he tried to get his New York criminal case moved to federal court in May of 2023, suggesting that showed Trump could have made the argument earlier in the hush money case.
In their Monday letter, however, Trump’s lawyers said Merchan later advised both legal teams that he would rule on presidential immunity objections to evidence as they arose, and ultimately noted at least one such objection.
Contributing: David Jackson, USA TODAY

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