(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump is seeking to delay the civil fraud case he faces in New York by several months. This timeframe would push the trial, currently scheduled for October, deeper into the 2024 presidential campaign.
In a recent court filing, Trump’s attorneys said the delay they’re seeking is “borne of necessity” given the case’s complexity and the “staggering volume” of evidence.
“The current schedule makes the preparation of a defense impossible,” Trump’s attorneys Alina Habba and Clifford Robert wrote. “Fundamental notions of fair play and due process mandate that Defendants are afforded every opportunity to prepare a meaningful defense, rather than to have an impossible schedule forced upon them.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a $250 million civil lawsuit last September against Trump, his eldest children and his company that alleged they schemed to inflate Trump’s net worth and the value of his real estate holdings, duping lenders and insurers into giving the Trump Organization better terms than deserved.
Trump has denied wrongdoing and has derided the lawsuit as part of a partisan witch hunt.
James has not formally responded to the new motion but has written previously to the judge opposing delays.
“[T]here is no unfair prejudice to Defendants under the existing schedule and Defendants’ claimed hardship is self-inflicted,” Assistant Attorney General Colleen Faherty wrote in a letter to the court last month. “In short, Defendants have had ample time and opportunity to familiarize themselves with the matter. Instead, they have waited until the eve of the fact discovery deadline to only just begin their process of conducting discovery to prepare for trial, and now seek more time.”
Delaying the case would require the approval of Judge Arthur Engoron, who has previously signaled his intention to begin the trial as scheduled on Oct. 2 “come hell or high water,” according to a February court filing.
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