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US: New York appeals court rejects Donald Trump's request to delay hush-money trial

New York: For the third time in three days, a New York appellate judge has rejected former US President Donald Trump's attempt to delay his hush money trial, CNN reported.
The judge's decision comes after Trump requested the New York appeals court for emergency relief to stop the criminal trial scheduled to begin on Monday from going ahead so he could appeal a lower court's ruling on presidential immunity and have the judge recused from the case.
Associate Justice Ellen Gesmer announced the decision just minutes after hearing arguments to reject the interim motion to stay the trial. Trump's petition in court on Wednesday is the latest in what has been a series of actions by the former US President at the appeals court this week to try to stop the trial before its scheduled start.
Trump could still appeal the denied motions to New York state's highest court, the Court of Appeals. That court, however, does not have to accept the motion, CNN reported.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Trump's attorney Emil Bove said that his client was seeking a stay due to three issues that go to the "core, fundamental fairness" of the trial: recusal, restriction on filing defence motions, and presidential immunity.
Bove said, "This can only be done once, and it must be done right because of the impact it will have on this election." He further said, "There are questions about the judge. There are questions about our ability to file motions."
In response, the Manhattan district attorney's office requested the court to reject the latest attempt to delay the trial. Manhattan District Attorney's Office Chief of Appeals Steven Wu said, "There is a powerful public interest to ensure this trial moves forward on the scheduled date."
Earlier this week, Trump's lawyers urged the appeals court to delay the trial so he could challenge a gag order preventing the former US president from making statements regarding witnesses, family members of the judge and prosecutors, and jurors. They also said that the trial could not take place in Manhattan due to pretrial publicity.
Both times, the requests to take measures to delay the trial were rejected. The court's decision on Wednesday came on a day when the appeals court's afternoon calendar was packed with previously scheduled arguments that occupied the main storied courtroom.
In order to accommodate the emergency action, the basement of the courthouse was transformed into a makeshift courtroom. During the hearing, Bove said that Trump's attorneys objected to the restrictions on filing motions, according to CNN report.
He stated that if Trump has the motion to preclude testimony by Michael Cohen and he is scheduled to begin testifying the next day, they can't file the motion in time. Bove said, "That 72 hours in the middle of the trial eliminates our ability to file that motion from one day to the next," and stressed that it's not consistent with Trump's constitutional right to defend himself.
At the hearing, Bove on presidential immunity said, "This is a situation where the judge has exceeded his authority under circumstances with very, very serious implications." In response, Steven Wu stated that the former US President was not following proper procedure to challenge the rulings of judge.
Wu said, "Even when a trial court may have erred in adopting a procedural order the solution is to wait until final judgment and handle on direct appeal." He also rejected claims that Judge Juan Merchan would need to recuse himself from the case, according to CNN report.
Lisa Evans, a lawyer arguing on behalf of the court, opposed Trump's recusal petition and said, "There's absolutely no evidence to show that Judge Merchan stands to benefit from the outcome of this trial. There's no proof."
Earlier in March, a New York judge scheduled Trump's hush money trial to begin on April 15, enabling his first criminal trial to begin this spring following a last-minute delay, as reported by The Hill.

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