Trump Sentencing in Hush Money Case Could Be Delayed


Donald Trump’s upcoming sentencing in his hush money case, initially scheduled for July 11, may be postponed. This development follows his legal team’s request to set aside his conviction, citing a recent Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity.
The Supreme Court’s ruling, delivered on Monday, establishes that presidents are broadly immune from criminal prosecution for “official actions” taken while in office. Trump’s lawyers argue this ruling should apply to his case, as his May conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business records involves actions and communications from his presidency.
In a letter to Justice Juan Merchan, Manhattan prosecutors stated they believe Trump’s motion lacks merit but do not oppose delaying the sentencing. They have requested a response from the judge by July 24.
Trump’s legal team highlighted that the former president signed off on the hush money records in 2017 while in office. However, one lawyer suggested this might not be considered an official act. Additionally, his lawyers claim that during the Manhattan trial, prosecutors introduced “highly prejudicial” evidence from his presidency, including social media posts and testimony about Oval Office events, which they argue should not have been presented to the jury.
“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 their letter to Justice Merchan.
Previously, Trump’s defense argued that the allegations fell within his official presidential duties. However, a federal judge concluded that Trump did not demonstrate his conduct related to any official presidential acts.
Trump hailed the Supreme Court’s ruling as a “big win” for democracy. The ruling confirmed presidential immunity for “official acts” but clarified that it does not extend to “unofficial acts.” This ruling pertained to a separate case in which Trump is suspected of attempting to overturn the 2020 election results.
Judge Merchan must decide whether to formally adjourn Trump’s sentencing, potentially altering the timeline of this high-profile case.