Trump Now Out of Options to Delay Manhattan Hush Money Trial: Experts


Someone is out of Trump cards.

Former President Donald Trump has run out of legal options to delay Monday’s start of his Manhattan hush-money trial, legal experts predict.

Trump’s lawyers struck out 0-3 this week, when three Manhattan appellate judges rejected three separate emergency delay bids during arguments on Monday, on Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Barring an unforeseen, nonlegal emergency, jury selection in Trump’s first of four criminal cases will begin as scheduled on Monday morning in Supreme Court in lower Manhattan, experts said.

“I think they’ve run out of steam here,” as far as pretrial delay bids go, Barry Kamins, a retired New York Supreme Court justice, said with a laugh on Thursday.

“I think the only thing that would stop the trial now would be a question of health — meaning if Mr. Trump came down with some condition or there’s some health reason,” he told Business Insider.

“But that would be looked at very carefully,” said Kamins, a former chief of policy and planning for the state court system, and now a partner at Aidala Bertuna & Kamins.

“I don’t see any other legal options for delaying the trial other than a health issue” on the part of the defendant, he added. “And that would only delay the trial a few days or weeks at most.”


Former Pres. Donald Trump attends a hearing in his felony hush money case in Manhattan on Feb. 15, 2024.

Former President Donald Trump attended a hearing in his felony hush money case in Manhattan.

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Mid-trial legal delays are also unlikely

Trump still has three appellate efforts underway, challenging state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan’s gag order, his ability to preside impartially over the hush money trial, and his recent efforts to rein in 11th-hour pretrial motions.

The defense and Manhattan prosecutors will file paper arguments on these three efforts over the next two weeks. The cases are proceeding on an expedited schedule, so three full panels of appellate judges could issue three decisions by month’s end, maybe even by opening statements.

But even if Trump wins — and that’s a long shot — it’s highly unlikely any of these three appellate decisions would stop or even pause the trial, experts also said.

And if he loses the three decisions, the state’s highest court, the New York Court of Appeals, would be highly unlikely to interrupt an ongoing trial, should its judges even agree to hear the cases.

“They don’t have to take it at all, and I’d be surprised if they took it in the middle of a trial,” said Paul Shechtman, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan, where he served as chief of appeals.

Ditto the US Supreme Court, where Trump could ultimately end up, given that all three appellate efforts raise Constitutional issues, Schechtman said.

These challenges would all be matters for after the trial, not during, agreed Kamins and attorney Michel Paradis, who teaches national security and Constitutional law at Columbia Law School.

“It’s very, very unusual to stay a criminal trial,” when it’s already in progress, Paradis said.

But though Trump’s lawyers failed to stop the trial, their efforts may not be wasted down the road.

Trump’s lawyers have complained, so far unsuccessfully, that his First Amendment right to campaign for office and his Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial have been denied.

By raising constitutional issues now, in these failed delay bids, Trump’s attorneys are laying the groundwork to challenge his conviction in the state’s and the nation’s highest courts, Paradis said.

“One way or another, by dropping the word ‘Constitution’ in all their pleadings, Trump’s legal team is hitting the wickets they need to take this to either the New York Court of Appeals or the US Supreme Court,” he said.



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