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Trump again asks appeals court to delay his upcoming hush money trial

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(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked a New York appellate court for an interim stay to his upcoming criminal hush money trial in New York — a tactic that has already failed twice this week.

Trump’s latest effort to scuttle the trial involves a petition against Judge Juan Merchan, challenging his failure to recuse himself from the case and his refusal to allow Trump to make arguments about presidential immunity.

There was no immediate word from the court on when — or whether — a judge will hear those arguments.

Merchan has said presidential immunity does not apply to Trump’s hush money case because he failed to invoke the defense in a timely fashion.

“This Court finds that Defendant had myriad opportunities to raise the claim of presidential immunity well before March 7, 2024,” Merchan wrote earlier this month.

Merchan declined to recuse himself from the case last August, writing that “this Court has examined its conscience and is certain in its ability to be fair and impartial.”

Trump insists that Merchan should not preside over the trial because his daughter did political consulting work for Democrats, creating an “unacceptable appearance of impropriety,” his lawyers have said.

Trump has tried, and failed, twice this week to delay the trial while he challenges a gag order and while he tries to get the case moved out of Manhattan.

The former president last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 presidential election. Trump has denied all wrongdoing.

Jury selection for the trial is scheduled to get underway this coming Monday in New York City.

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