Trump's hush money trial postponed

The criminal trial against former US President Donald Trump over a hush money payment to a porn actress has been postponed for at least several weeks. The responsible New York judge, Juan Merchan, wrote in a court document on Friday that the start of the trial, which was originally scheduled for March 25, would be postponed by 30 days from the date of a letter from the prosecutor on Thursday.

The process could start in mid-April. The new date for the start of the trial is to be set on March 25th.

The Manhattan district attorney's office agreed on Thursday to a “brief adjournment” of the trial for up to 30 days. This should give Trump and his lawyers time to examine new documents in the case.

Trump was the first ex-president in US history to be indicted in March 2023 in connection with a hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election. Manhattan prosecutors are accusing the 77-year-old Republican of 34 counts of falsifying business documents, which could be punishable by four years in prison. Trump, who plans to challenge incumbent Joe Biden in the November presidential election, has pleaded not guilty.

The hush money of $130,000 (120,000 euros) paid by Trump's then-lawyer Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels was not illegal in itself. However, the repayment of the money to Cohen by Trump's real estate empire in numerous tranches is said to have been incorrectly recorded as legal fees.

According to her own account, the sex actress with the real name Stephanie Clifford had an affair with the married Trump in 2006 – shortly after his wife Melania gave birth to their son Barron. Trump denies having a sexual relationship with Stormy Daniels.

Trump, whose re-candidacy in November's presidential election is almost certain, has been indicted in a total of four criminal cases. Two of the cases involve the right-wing populist's attempts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to Biden, and thus stay in power.