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Home High profile 'Denied': Appeals court refuses to stop Trump’s fast-approaching hush-money trial as he sues judge over gag orders

'Denied': Appeals court refuses to stop Trump’s fast-approaching hush-money trial as he sues judge over gag orders


Just one day later, Trump’s last-minute lawsuit against his hush-money trial judge has already failed to accomplish its main objective.

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Juan Merchan, Donald Trump

Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, pictured left inset (AP Photo/Seth Wenig), (right) Donald Trump (GDA via AP Images)

Just one day later, former President Donald Trump’s last-minute lawsuit against a judge has already failed to accomplish the main goal of stopping his New York hush-money trial from starting on April 15.

The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, First Judicial Department, on Tuesday revealed that it would not stop the falsification of business records trial pending the outcome of Trump’s Article 78 suit against Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan over the judge’s gag orders.

“This application for an interim stay of the proceedings pending resolution of the Article 78 proceeding is denied, without prejudice to any determination by the full bench,” the brief disposition said. While the court denied a stay, it did set deadlines for filings opposing and supporting the lawsuit on an expedited basis.

How will this work? Recall that when Trump similarly sued his civil fraud trial judge Arthur Engoron over gag orders a lawyer submitted an opposition at the appellate court on the jurist’s behalf. The New York Attorney General’s Office, also sued in the case, likewise vehemently opposed Trump’s suit. You can expect the same pushback from Merchan and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in the present case.

More Law&Crime coverage: Trump sues judge to shut down hush-money criminal trial at 11th hour, reusing failed tactic from civil fraud gag order fight

The appellate court said oppositions must be filed by April 12, a Trump motion by April 15, and a reply by 10 a.m. on April 15, the day trial is supposed to begin.

In short, the appellate court will hear arguments for and against Trump’s lawsuit but declined to immediately allow that exercise to trip up the trial.

The Trump Article 78 lawsuit, a tactic that failed twice against Engoron, was a response to Merchan prohibiting out-of-court statements about witnesses, “family members of any counsel, staff member, the Court, or the District Attorney.” The gag order was updated after the former president’s social media postings about the judge’s daughter identified her by name, included photographs, and railed against her political consulting for Democrats.

While Trump lawyers have argued that the gag order was inappropriate since the social media posts were “properly understood” as a criticism of Merchan’s refusal to recuse himself from the case, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg (D) has maintained that the recusal campaign is a delay tactic and little more than last-ditch “judge-shopping.”

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