Trump Sentencing Delayed Two Months, 'If Such Is Still Necessary'

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jul 02, 2024 - 07:05 PM

Update (1505ET): Donald Trump's sentencing date has been kicked down the road more than two months - from July 11th to September 18th, 'if such is still necessary.'

Donald J. Trump faces probation or prison time after being convicted of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Credit...Dave Sanders for The New York Times

Interestingly, New York prosecutors agreed to a delay.

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Hours after the US Supreme Court granted Donald Trump immunity for official acts committed in office, the former president began an effort to toss his recent conviction in Manhattan and postpone his upcoming sentencing over 34 felony counts related to his cover-up of a sex scandal leading up to the 2016 US election.

In a letter to judge Juan Merchan just hours after the Supreme Court ruling - and 10 days before he's set for sentencing, Trump's lawyers sought permission to file a motion to set aside the verdict while Merchan considers whether the Supreme Court ruling affects the conviction.

That said, Trump's attempt might be a long shot given the fact that the Manhattan case revolves around acts Trump took as a candidate, not as president.

As the NY Times notes, however, Trump's lawyers are likely to argue that prosecutors partially built their case using evidence from his time in office. Under the Supreme Court's new ruling, prosecutors may not charge a president for official acts, but also cannot cite evidence involving official acts that affect other accusations.

It is unclear how the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which brought the case, will respond, or whether the judge will delay the first sentencing of an American president. But Mr. Trump’s effort appeared to cause at least a brief interruption: The district attorney’s office did not on Monday make a sentencing recommendation to the judge about whether to imprison Mr. Trump, as was expected.

Merchan may also punt on the request, as the deadline for filing post-trial motions ended last month. Instead, Merchan may instruct Trump's attorneys to raise the issue when they appeal the conviction post-sentencing.

As the Times further notes, Merchan faces an 'unprecedented conundrum' with massive legal and political ramifications. Imprisoning Trump would drop-kick a hornet's nest, while sparing Trump from prison would immediately draw the wrath of vengeful Democrats who say he gave Trump special treatment.

While there's no requirement that Trump be sentenced to time behind bars, Merchan could sentence him to months or several years in prison - or he could be sentenced to home confinement or probation. He could also postpone any sentence until after the election, or after Trump serves another term in office, should be he reelected.

Meanwhile, Trump's other criminal cases have been largely derailed or otherwise postponed - including his trial in Washington DC, where he stands accused of mishandling classified information while still in office.