Publicity Argument Doesn't Sway Trump Judge, Either

Prosecutors say there must be 12 impartial potential jurors in Manhattan's 1 million people
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2024 5:20 PM CDT
Trump Judge Rejects Request to Delay Trial Over Publicity
Judge Juan Merchan's courtroom, which is scheduled to be in session Monday, sits empty between proceedings in March.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The judge in Donald Trump's hush money criminal case on Friday turned down the former president's request to postpone his trial because of publicity about the case. It's the latest in a string of delay denials that Trump has gotten from various courts this week as he fights to stave off the trial's start Monday with jury selection. Among other arguments, Trump's lawyers said the jury pool was deluged with what the defense saw as "exceptionally prejudicial" news coverage of the case. The defense argued that was a reason to hold off the case indefinitely, the AP reports.

Judge Juan Merchan said Friday that that idea isn't tenable. Trump "appears to take the position that his situation and this case are unique and that the pre-trial publicity will never subside. However, this view does not align with reality," the judge wrote. He said questioning of prospective jurors would address any concerns about their ability to be fair and impartial. Prosecutors had objected to Trump's request, saying that the publicity wasn't likely to wane and that Trump's own comments generated a lot of it. Prosecutors also noted that there are over 1 million people in Manhattan and said jury questioning could surely locate 12 who could be impartial. (More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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