Trump hush money sentencing delayed until September as he mounts immunity defense

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Former President Trump’s criminal sentencing is delayed until September 18 as he attempts to set aside his recent guilty verdict in the wake of the Supreme Court’s presidential immunity decision, a New York judge ruled on Tuesday. 

Judge Juan Merchan’s ruling means Trump will not be sentenced before the Republican National Convention, though he is now poised to be sentenced in the heat of the general election race. It also comes about a week after the next presidential debate on Sept. 10.

Though Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) office believes the 34-count conviction should stand, he agreed to adjourn the scheduled July 11 sentencing hearing so Trump can first attempt to mount his presidential immunity defense. 

The former president has not argued he is immune from his charges of falsifying business records, but he asserts the jury’s verdict must still be tossed because some of the trial evidence was precluded under the Supreme Court’s new test. 

Trump’s attorneys have until July 10 to file their motion to set aside the verdict, and prosecutors with the district attorney’s office must reply by July 24.  

Merchan is expected to ultimately rule on whether to set aside the verdict on Sept. 6. Trump’s Sept. 18 sentencing will take place “if such is still necessary,” the judge said.  

A jury of 12 New Yorkers deliberated for roughly 11 hours before making Trump the first former president convicted of a crime.  

Trump was found guilty of falsifying New York business records with an intent to unlawfully influence the 2016 election when he disguised reimbursements to his then-fixer, Michael Cohen. Cohen paid a porn star $130,000 to stay quiet about her alleged affair with Trump in the lead-up to his election. Trump denies any affair. 

The former president’s other three criminal cases also stand to be affected by the high court’s ruling on immunity, none more so than his federal election subversion case from which the challenge stemmed.  

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