Judge Merchan Delays Trump Sentencing in Wake of Supreme Court Immunity Decision

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024, in New York. (Justin Lane/Pool/Getty Images/TNS)

NEW YORK (New York Daily News/TNS) — Donald Trump’s sentencing for his New York business records case has been pushed back to September following an indication Trump’s lawyers will ask to set aside the former president’s conviction in light of Monday’s stunning Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity.

The sentencing, previously scheduled for July 11, will be delayed until at least September 18, Judge Juan Merchan wrote Tuesday — potentially pushing it to just weeks before the election in November.

Merchan is set to rule on Trump’s motion to set aside the verdict September 6. The sentencing, “if such is still necessary,” Merchan wrote, is expected to happen around two weeks later.

Lawyers for Trump indicated in a letter that Trump’s conviction should be tossed after the Supreme Court decision, they argued, confirmed arguments raised earlier in the case that prosecutors should have not been allowed to introduce certain pieces of evidence.

Under the new Supreme Court decision, these “official-acts evidence should never have been put before the jury,” the lawyers wrote in the letter, which was made public Tuesday.

In a letter on Tuesday, the Manhattan DA’s office said they would not oppose a delay in the sentencing, and ADA Joshua Steinglass asked for a deadline of July 24 to file a response to Trump’s lawyers motion.

“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,” Steinglass wrote.

Trump was found guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to payments made to suppress harmful information during the 2016 presidential election.

Monday’s Supreme Court decision expanded presidential immunity to all “official acts,” providing Trump additional legal leeway as his lawyers fight his multiple criminal cases. The justices found that presidents are not immune for “unofficial acts.”

Experts were skeptical that the decision would allow Trump to do away with his conviction.

The sentencing was expected to be the only time the former president would face criminal accountability before the election. His other cases have faced significant delays, and his trial in Washington, D.C., where he was charged with illegally attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election, is expected to be further delayed because of the Supreme Court decision.

Merchan is now expected to decide whether Trump will serve time behind bars in the home stretch of the campaign: The sentencing date is now scheduled for about a month and a half before election day on Tuesday, Nov. 5 — assuming there are no further delays.

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