- Trump has repeatedly asked the judge in his NYC hush-money case to move the March 25 trial date.
- Trump’s Jan. 6 trial is set for March 4 in DC, and will take more than a month, his lawyer argued.
- The NYC judge recently told Trump he won’t move the date, but invited him to ask again in February.
With two lengthy criminal trials scheduled for March, a lawyer for an overbooked Donald Trump has repeatedly asked the judge in the former president’s Manhattan hush-money case to consider rescheduling, only to be rebuffed, court filings show.
Instead of granting the requested scheduling conference, New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan said earlier this month that he’s sticking to the current trial date — at least for now.
He invited Trump’s lawyer to raise the matter of scheduling again in February.
That means Trump remains on track for a March 4 trial, in Washington, DC, on conspiracy and obstruction charges related to the deadly Capitol riot. A Manhattan trial on charges that he lied in business documents to hide a 2016 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels is scheduled to kick-off on March 25.
“I have decided to adhere to the existing schedule,” Merchan wrote earlier this month to Trump’s defense lawyer Todd Blanche. “We can discuss scheduling and make any necessary changes when we next meet on February 15, 2024.”
Trump’s lawyers have had a run of bad luck in trying to talk Manhattan judges into delaying his trials.
On Wednesday, the judge who will preside over Trump’s October 2 civil business-fraud trial, New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, called a similar delay-the-date bid “completely without merit.”
In asking, without luck, to at least talk about a new hush-money trial date, Blanche, too, sounded overbooked.
The lawyer noted in an August 30 letter to Merchan that he is “counsel of record” for the DC case, the hush-money case, and “another federal trial scheduled to begin on May 20, 2024,” meaning the Mar-a-Lago documents trial in Florida.
Federal prosecutors have estimated that the DC trial — not including jury selection — will span four to six weeks, Blanche told Merchan in his letter.
“Thus, the trial in that case will necessarily conflict with the scheduled trial in this case,” Blanche noted.
“In order for President Trump’s trial team to be ready for the D.C. trial in March 2024 – one that involves millions of documents, complex factual and legal issues, and is a mere 6 months away – it will require the full attention of President Trump’s full legal team,” Blanche told Merchan.