Trump Seeks Dismissal of Conviction

Trump Seeks Dismissal of Conviction
Trump Seeks Dismissal of Conviction

Donald Trump has asked the New York judge who presided over his recent hush-money trial to set aside his conviction as he seeks to capitalize on Monday’s supreme court ruling granting him broad immunity from prosecution.

In what is probably just the first real-world impact of the controversial ruling from the conservative-dominated court, which said Trump cannot be held criminally liable for many acts taken when he was president, Trump’s legal team sent a letter to the trial judge, Juan Merchan, asking him to postpone the sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for 11 July, while Merchan weighs how Monday’s court ruling affects the case.

Although the offenses happened before Trump was president, the lawyers argue that the supreme court ruling confirms their argument that some evidence should be inadmissible because it related to presidential acts.

The president was convicted on 34 felony charges.

The office of Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney who prosecuted Trump’s hush-money case, said he would not oppose the move to delay his sentencing hearing.

The Trump team’s lightning-fast request, which was filed only a few hours after the supreme court decision, indicates it is likely the beginning of the fallout from a ruling that is being celebrated by Trump supporters but that critics warned paves the way to a vastly inflated definition of presidential powers, one that could lead to a future US dictatorship – perhaps even under Trump himself.

A Manhattan jury found Trump guilty on 31 May after a trial lasting several weeks on charges of falsifying documents to cover up hush money paid to an adult film actor, Stormy Daniels, shortly before the 2016 presidential election, which he won.

Trump had sought immunity from prosecution in prior court filings for conduct alleged to have involved official acts while he was president.