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Manhattan prosecutors open to a 30-day delay in Trump's criminal trial

Former President Trump's criminal trial in New York may be delayed.
Chip Somodevilla
Getty Images
Former President Trump's criminal trial in New York may be delayed.

Updated March 14, 2024 at 4:30 PM ET

Prosecutors in Manhattan said Thursday they were open to a 30-day delay to allow a review of new records in former President Donald Trump's criminal trial in New York.

In "light of the distinctive circumstances ... the People do not oppose a brief adjournment of up to 30 days to permit sufficient time for defendant to review the" records obtained from federal prosecutors, they said in a filing.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg's legal team said in a court filing that they would not oppose the to give Trump's team up to 30 days to review 31,000 records recently provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office, with the expectation that more will come next week.

They said they are prepared to move forward with the trial on March 25, but a delay would provide an abundance of caution and ensure that Trump's legal team has sufficient time to review the new materials as well.

The development comes less than two weeks after Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was expected to be in a Manhattan courtroom for the trial that involves hush money paid to an adult film actress during an election campaign. The selection of 18 jurors for the trial wasscheduled to start on March 25.

Trump faces a 34-count felony indictment alleging that he falsified New York business records in order to conceal damaging information to influence the 2016 presidential election. The trial is expected to last about six weeks — even as Trump campaigns to be president once again.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all counts. At the center of the trial are 11 "hush money" payments to adult film actor Stormy Daniels who, at the time Trump was first running for president, threatened to go public with accusations she'd had an affair with him not long after he married Melania Trump.

This would be the first criminal trial against a former or sitting president.

The fact of the payments and the false records isn't in dispute. What Bragg has to prove is that Trump made them in order to further other crimes, such as violating campaign finance law and mischaracterizing the payments for tax purposes. Should the trial start on time, a decision could come by the summer of this year.

Trump's other major trials – related to his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, his handling of classified documents, and alleged election interference in Georgia are in various stages of delay, and it is unlikely that a verdict in any of them will come before the election. At the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments next month on whether Trump enjoys blanket immunity for his actions as president, and what it decides could have ramifications for the presidency.

In all, Trump faces 88 federal and legal charges.

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Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.