In a swift decision, a New York appeals court has turned down Donald Trump’s second attempt in two days to postpone his upcoming hush money trial, slated to begin on April 15. The former U.S. president’s legal team had sought a delay, arguing for time to challenge a gag order placed on Trump in connection with the case. However, Associate Justice Cynthia Kern dismissed the request, with the court set to later review Trump’s challenge against the gag order itself.

Legal Battles Intensify

The denial follows another judge’s refusal on Monday to push back the trial date as Trump’s attorneys endeavor to relocate the proceedings from Manhattan, citing a survey indicating a majority of Manhattan residents hold a prejudicial view against Trump. Despite these efforts, Trump’s legal team faces an uphill battle in shifting public perception and legal momentum.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Trump’s lawyer, Emil Bove, emphasized the First Amendment implications of the gag order, arguing it unfairly restricts Trump’s ability to counter public criticism, especially from potential witnesses. The gag order, instituted by Justice Juan Merchan, aims to prevent Trump from launching verbal attacks on potential witnesses and court staff, expanding also to cover family members following Trump’s disparaging remarks about Merchan’s daughter.

Steven Wu, representing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, highlighted the increased security measures necessitated by Trump’s statements and the hesitancy of potential witnesses to come forward, fearing backlash. Wu underscored a pattern of behavior from Trump that leads to “predictable, terrifying consequences.”

The Charges Against Trump

Trump faces accusations related to a $130,000 payment made by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to porn star Stormy Daniels, aimed at silencing her from discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Trump before the 2016 presidential election. Trump, who has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records and denied the encounter with Daniels, is simultaneously contending with three other criminal indictments as he gears up for a potential electoral rematch with President Joe Biden.

Of the four criminal cases Trump is embroiled in, including charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results and mishandling sensitive government documents, the hush money trial is the only one with a confirmed start date. Trump’s consistent pleas for delays across all cases until after the November 5 election highlight his strategic approach to navigating these legal challenges amidst his political aspirations.