Judge Denies Trump’s Presidential Immunity Claim in Falsifying Business Records Case

A judge has dismissed former President Donald Trump’s claim of presidential immunity in the falsifying business records case against him, stating Trump delayed too long in raising the defense. In his ruling, Judge Juan Merchan also denied a motion to delay the trial’s start until after a Supreme Court ruling on Trump’s immunity claims in a separate case. Trump had argued that his presidential acts, including tweets and public comments, should exempt him from prosecution in the state case.

The case revolves around Trump’s alleged falsification of business records concerning a payment made to cover up a supposed sexual encounter with adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump’s legal team attempted to exclude evidence related to public statements made about Daniels and Michael Cohen, a former Trump attorney, claiming they were protected presidential actions. However, Judge Merchan highlighted that Trump had ample notice of the evidence against him and the potential use of an immunity defense but chose to wait until it was too late to introduce it.

Trump’s attempt to delay the trial, scheduled to begin on April 15, pending a Supreme Court decision on his immunity claim was also rejected by Merchan. The decision underscores the court’s stance that Trump’s actions, deemed personal rather than official, do not warrant immunity protection. This ruling marks a significant setback for Trump, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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