Manhattan D.A. doesn’t oppose Trump sentencing delay after Supreme Court ruling

Prosecutors for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said they are not opposed to delaying Donald Trump’s sentencing for his criminal conviction in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling that former presidents enjoy broad immunity for official acts.

“Although we believe defendant’s arguments to be without merit, we do not oppose his request for leave to file and his putative request to adjourn sentencing pending determination of his motion,” lawyers from the D.A.’s office said in a letter to the judge in the case on Tuesday.

On Monday, Trump’s lawyers asked to file a motion arguing Trump’s conviction should be overturned based on the Supreme Court’s decision, saying the district attorney should not have been allowed to introduce evidence about official acts Trump took while in office.

Trump was convicted of 34 counts of falsification of business records in May, and sentencing is currently scheduled for July 11.

Trump’s Monday letter to Justice Juan Merchan cited a March 7 pretrial motion in which his attorneys argued that certain testimony and evidence, particularly pertaining to Trump’s public statements and social media posts while in office, were evidence corresponding to official acts.

The Supreme Court ruled that evidence about official acts cannot be introduced “even on charges that purport to be based only on his unofficial conduct.” Trump’s attorneys said Monday that the “official-acts evidence should never have been put before the jury.”

“The verdicts in this case violate the presidential immunity doctrine and create grave risks of ‘an Executive Branch that cannibalizes itself,'” they wrote in their letter, quoting the Supreme Court’s ruling. 

Prosecutors for Bragg said in their response that they believe Trump’s “arguments to be without merit,” but they did not oppose allowing him to file the motion. Trump didn’t request a delay in sentencing, but prosecutors said “his request to file moving papers on July 10 is necessarily a request to adjourn the sentencing hearing currently scheduled for July 11.” They asked for a deadline of July 24 to respond to the defense’s motion.

On May 30, a unanimous jury concluded Trump was guilty of falsifying records in an effort to cover up reimbursements for a “hush money” payment to an adult film star. Trump gave the greenlight to subordinates who falsified records as part of that scheme while he was in the White House in 2017.

The issue of whether Trump was engaged in official acts has previously come up in this case. In 2023, Trump’s lawyers said the allegations involved official acts within the color of his presidential duties.

A federal judge rejected that claim, writing, “hush money paid to an adult film star is not related to a president’s official acts. It does not reflect in any way the color of the president’s official duties.”

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