Bond deadline in Trump money trial, civil fraud case

8:08 a.m. ET, March 25, 2024

Trump's money-laundering trial begins today. Here's what you need to know about asking instead

From CNN's Jeremy Herb and Kara Scannell

Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally in Vandalia, Ohio on March 16.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Donald Trump's first criminal trial was expected to begin Monday. Instead, his lawyers will get a longer reprieve and the chance to argue for the charges to be dismissed.

Judge Juan Mercant will hold a pretrial hearing in New York on Monday, leading to a delay by the Manhattan district attorney on charges related to the payments until at least the middle of next month.

Here it is What do you know? Ahead of today's hearing:

What happened? The hearing was adjourned and ordered to begin Monday after the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York turned over more than 100,000 new documents related to the 2018 case against Trump's former lawyer Cohen, a key witness in the case. Trump's lawyers say the new information is exculpatory for the former president and that he needs at least 90 days to properly review the new matter — which fits with the former president's overall efforts to delay all four criminal investigations he faces since the November election. . Merchan said the hearing would be adjourned for 30 days from the date of his letter, March 15, which would mean the initial hearing would begin on April 15. The judge clarified that the investigation will only focus on document production from New South District. York, and not other issues such as Trump's attorneys' complaint, is that a new documentary about Daniels is set to be released near the start of the trial to prejudice the jury.

What are the documents? The documents in question are related to a 2018 federal investigation into Cohen that led to charges of campaign finance violations and tax evasion. Most of the documents include records relied on to obtain search warrants for Cohen's devices and homes, including bank records. The US attorney's office turned over 30,000 pages of documents seized from five iPhones and email accounts linked to Cohen. In addition, prosecutors said the US attorney's office turned over FBI interview notes with Cohen to those of special counsel Robert Mueller, which the office obtained in December as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. In total, over 200,000 pages of records were handed over this month.

Why were the documents transferred so late? Trump's attorneys and prosecutors are pointing fingers at each other because the U.S. attorney's office didn't turn over tens of thousands of documents until this month. Trump's team accused the district attorney of trying to hide evidence ahead of the trial, and the U.S. attorney's office reversed that following a January subpoena from Trump's attorneys. But the district attorney says Trump's lawyers are to blame for the delay. Prosecutors argue that Trump's lawyers did not raise any issue with the January subpoena six months after the document was produced in July 2023.

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