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Potential Delay: Trump’s Sentencing in Hush Money Case Amid Legal Maneuvering

Donald Trump

The potential delay in Donald Trump’s sentencing on July 11 for his hush money case comes after his legal team requested the judge to set aside his conviction, citing a recent Supreme Court ruling.

This ruling grants presidents broad immunity from criminal prosecution for “official actions” taken while in office.

Manhattan prosecutors have expressed their belief that Trump’s motion to overturn his conviction is “without merit” but have not opposed the request to postpone the sentencing.

Trump’s conviction in May on 34 counts of falsifying business records involved evidence from meetings and communications during his presidency.

Donald Trump’s lawyers have cited a recent Supreme Court ruling in a letter to the judge, arguing that the former president should be granted immunity from prosecution for “official actions” taken while in office.

Manhattan prosecutors have requested that Judge Juan Merchan respond to Trump’s motion by July 24. The judge must now decide whether to formally adjourn the sentencing, originally scheduled for July 11.

Donald Trump

Trump’s legal team contends that the former president signed off on the records related to the hush money case while in office in 2017, but one of his lawyers acknowledged that this action might not be deemed an official act.

Additionally, his lawyers argued that during the Manhattan trial, prosecutors introduced “highly prejudicial” evidence from his time in the White House that should not have been presented to the jury.

This evidence included Trump’s 2017 social media posts and testimony regarding events that took place in the Oval Office.

“The verdicts in this case violate the presidential immunity doctrine and create grave risks of ‘an Executive Branch that cannibalizes itself,'” Trump’s lawyers Todd Blanche and Emil Bove wrote in the letter to Justice Merchan.

Last year, Trump’s legal team argued that the allegations in his case were related to his official presidential duties.

However, a federal judge ruled that Trump had not demonstrated that his conduct fell under the scope of official presidential acts.

In response to Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, Trump celebrated it as a significant victory for democracy.

The justices determined that while a president enjoys immunity for “official acts,” they are not immune from scrutiny for “unofficial acts.”

This ruling was specifically in relation to a separate case concerning Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results that favored Joe Biden.

President Biden reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision, describing it as setting a dangerous precedent that undermines the rule of law in the United States.

In May, a Manhattan jury unanimously convicted Trump on all counts of falsifying business records in the hush money case, which centered around payments to Stormy Daniels to buy her silence during the 2016 election campaign. Numerous witnesses, including Stormy Daniels herself, testified during the trial.

Prosecutors argued that Trump violated election law by orchestrating a scheme to disguise the payments as legal expenses. Trump criticized the verdict, calling it a “disgrace.”

While Justice Merchan is likely to agree to delay the sentencing, legal experts like Mark Zauderer suggest that the recent Supreme Court decision granting immunity for “official acts” is unlikely to affect Trump’s conviction in this particular case.

“The allegations in the New York fraud case in which Trump was convicted seem clearly to relate to unofficial conduct by Trump, none of which would seem to involve his official duties,” he told the BBC.

“While Trump will be able to litigate his immunity defence in some of his cases, he will have a most difficult time succeeding with this argument in the New York case.”

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