Judge delays Trump’s sentencing in hush money case

Trump had been scheduled to face sentencing July 11 on his New York conviction on felony charges of falsifying business records.

Judge delays Donald Trump’s sentencing in hush money case until September PA Media

Former US president Donald Trump’s sentencing in his hush money case has been postponed to September after the judge agreed on Tuesday to weigh the possible impact of a new Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity.

Trump had been scheduled to face sentencing July 11 on his New York conviction on felony charges of falsifying business records. He denies any wrongdoing.

The postponement sets the sentencing for September 18, well after the Republican National Convention, where Trump is set formally to accept the party’s nomination for president in this year’s race.

The convention runs from July 15 to 18.

A Supreme Court ruling on Monday granted broad immunity protections to presidents, while also restricting prosecutors from citing any official acts as evidence in trying to prove a president’s unofficial actions violated the law.

Hours after it was issued, Trump’s lawyer requested that New York Judge Juan M Merchan set aside the jury’s guilty verdict and delay the sentencing to consider how the high court’s ruling and could affect the hush money case.

He wrote that he will rule on September 6, and the next date in the case would be September 18, “if necessary”.

Manhattan prosecutors said on Tuesday that they would not oppose putting off the sentencing for at least two weeks.

In their filing on Monday, defence lawyers argued that Manhattan prosecutors had placed “highly prejudicial emphasis on official-acts evidence” including Trump’s social media posts and witness testimony about Oval Office meetings.

Prosecutors said on Tuesday that they believed those arguments were “without merit,” but noted they were not opposed to adjourning the sentencing as the judge considers the matter.

Trump was convicted May 30 on 34 counts of falsifying business records arising from what prosecutors said was an attempt to cover up a 130,000-dollar (£103,000) hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election.

Ms Daniels claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 after meeting him at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.

Trump has repeatedly denied that claim, saying at his June 27 debate with President Joe Biden: “I didn’t have sex with a porn star.”

Prosecutors said the Daniels payment was part of a broader scheme to buy the silence of people who might have gone public during the campaign with embarrassing stories alleging he had extramarital sex.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid Ms Daniels and was later reimbursed by Trump, whose company logged the reimbursements as legal expenses.

Falsifying business records is punishable by up to four years behind bars. Other potential sentences include probation, a fine or a conditional discharge which would require Trump to stay out of trouble to avoid additional punishment. Trump is the first ex-president convicted of a crime.

Trump will be required to be present in Judge Merchan’s Manhattan courtroom when he is sentenced.

Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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