A New York appeals judge rejected Trump's third legal challenge

A New York appeals court judge on Wednesday rejected a third attempt in three days by Donald Trump's lawyers to halt the former president's upcoming criminal trial.

Associate Justice Ellen Kessmer of the New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division denied Trump's third legal challenge to delay the trial after rejecting similar attempts by Trump on Monday and Tuesday. It will begin on April 15 with the jury selection.

A court filing for the state Appellate Division showed Trump's lawyers filed the challenge as a so-called Rule 78 of New York law. Section 78 challenges allow litigants to seek relief from unlawful government action, whether through ongoing litigation or otherwise. Local government action. The documents were sealed.

Trump lawyer Emil Bowe He made a grab-bag of arguments for the stay during an emergency hearing on Wednesday, including reiterating his position that the proceedings would be suspended while Trump challenged what Bowe called. The “unacceptable and unconstitutional restrictions” issued by Judge Juan Mercant last month were expanded days later.

Bowe also argued that Merson's ruling last week rejected his attempt to use presidential immunity as part of his defense, finding that the former president waited too long to raise the issue, a violation of his authority.

“We have a right to raise this defense,” Bowe said, while also complaining that another order by the judge asking Trump for permission to file the motions was unreasonable.

Bowe also suggested that Merchan was “operating under the guise of impropriety,” citing the judge's daughter's political work on behalf of Authentic Campaigns, a political firm that worked with President Joe Biden's 2020 campaign. The judge said he should be removed. From the case because of the alleged “conflict”.

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Lisa Evans, a lawyer for the Manhattan district attorney's office, argued that delaying the trial would cause “great disruption” and that there was no reason to do so.

“There is no evidence that Judge Merchan would benefit from a hearing,” Evans said.

Steven Wu, another prosecutor for the DA's office, called Poe's arguments “absolutely without merit” and suggested that delaying the trial could create conflicts with Trump's legal actions elsewhere.

The trial began after 4 p.m.

On Monday, Trump filed a separate Rule 78 motion with the Appellate Division to stop the trial, arguing that he could not get a fair trial in Manhattan. A judge denied that request on Monday, and a separate judge on Tuesday rejected a request to delay the trial while Merchen appeals the gag order against him as “unconstitutional.”

The trial is set to begin on Monday. Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges of falsifying business records related to transactions made during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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