The judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s upcoming New York criminal trial denied his motion to delay its start until after the US Supreme Court rules on Trump’s presidential immunity claim.

Judge Juan Merchan denied the motion Wednesday calling it untimely and noting Trump’s lawyers had months to file a motion over the issue.

“This Court finds that Defendant had myriad opportunities to raise the claim of presidential immunity well before March 7, 2024,” the order says. “After all, Defendant had already briefed the same issue in federal court and he was in possession of, and aware that, the People intended to offer the relevant evidence at trial that entire time. The circumstances, viewed as a whole, test this Court’s credulity.”

The criminal trial related to hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to adult film star Stormy Daniels is scheduled to begin with jury selection on April 15. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Merchan previously ruled that Trump’s lawyers can object when prosecutors introduce evidence at trial that they believe is tied to presidential acts but did not address the issue further in Wednesday’s ruling.

“The Court declines to consider whether the doctrine of presidential immunity precludes the introduction of evidence of purported official presidential acts in criminal proceeding,” the order says.

When Trump filed the motion on March 7, the trial was still set to begin on March 25. A week later the trial was delayed mid-April over a tranche of documents turned over by federal prosecutors.

This story has been updated with additional information.


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