Judge declines to delay Trump’s hush money trial after claims that case has too much publicity

PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - APRIL 12: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump during a joint press conference with Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) at Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on April 12, 2024, in Palm Beach, Florida. They spoke about  "election integrity," which has been one of the former president's top issues.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — The judge in former President Donald Trump’s hush money case rejected his request to postpone his trial because of all the publicity surrounding the case.

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Friday’s decision by Judge Juan M. Merchan is one of many denials that Trump has received to either dismiss or postpone his many cases.

Trump’s legal team in the hush money case had argued that the news coverage over the case would impact the jury pool, which they said was grounds to postpone the case indefinitely, according to The Associated Press.

Merchan said that claim was “not tenable,” the AP reported. He said that Trump “appears to take the position that his situation and this case are unique and that the pre-trial publicity will never subside. However, this view does not align with reality.”

Merchan said that prospective jurors will be questioned about their ability to be impartial and fair. Prosecutors said that there are about a million people in Manhattan and the possibility of at least 12 impartial jury members could happen, the AP reported.

The hush money trial is expected to start on Monday with jury selection, according to the AP. It is the first of four criminal indictments set to go to trial. It will also be the first-ever criminal trial of a former president.

Trump is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, according to USA Today. Each count has a maximum sentence of four years.

The trial will focus on hush-money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and others before the 2016 presidential election.

When asked at a news conference at Mar-a-Lago with Speaker Mike Johnson if Trump plans to take the stand at his trial, he said he planned to testify, according to the New York Times.

“I’m testifying. I tell the truth. I mean, all I can do is tell the truth. And the truth is that there’s no case. They have no case,” Trump said, according to the newspaper.

Trump has pleaded not guilty and has denied any wrongdoing.