Trump’s attorneys want to throw out hush money verdict based on Supreme Court ruling

Attorneys for Donald Trump have reportedly sent a letter to the judge overseeing his hush money trial in New York in the hopes of delaying his sentencing and blocking his guilty verdict in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that grants him some immunity from prosecution.

The letter, first reported by The New York Times, arrived shortly after a ruling from the nation’s high court that shields Trump and any other president from criminal prosecution for actions considered “official” duties while in office.

“No comment. And there is nothing public yet to share,” Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche told The Independent on Monday.

Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with a scheme to influence the 2016 presidential election by paying hush money to an adult film star whose story about having sex with Trump threatened to derail his campaign.

A letter from Trump’s attorneys reportedly asks Justice Juan Merchan judge for permission to begin filing a motion to set that verdict aside.

Earlier, on his Truth Social, Trump claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision “should end all of Crooked Joe Biden’s Witch Hunts against me,” including “the New York Hoaxes” – his hush money case, the civil fraud judgment that has him on the hook for nearly half a billion dollars, and jury’s verdict in a federal defamation trial.

Judge Merchan is scheduled to sentence Trump on July 11.

Trump was convicted on May 30 on all 34 counts against him after jurors deliberated for roughly two days.

Nothing in the indictment against him or the case presented by prosecutors include actions involving the presidency, other than Trump’s signature on checks to his then-attorney Michael Cohen that reimbursed him for payments to Stormy Daniels.

Those checks were signed within his first year in office in 2017.

The deadline for post-conviction filings ended last month, and it is unclear what argument Trump’s attorneys would present to the court based on today’s relatively narrow ruling from the Supreme Court.

Donald Trump sits with his attorney Todd Blanche inside a criminal courtroom in Manhattan on May 21. (AP)
Donald Trump sits with his attorney Todd Blanche inside a criminal courtroom in Manhattan on May 21. (AP)

Prosecutors with the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg are imminently expected to submit their sentencing recommendations to the court before next week’s hearing, which is likely to be the only criminally consequential action against the former president before Election Day.

The judge will ultimately set a sentence. Trump could face up to several years in jail, or probation, community service, hefty fines or some combination of those terms. Judge Merchan will likely also pull from guidance from Trump’s interview with a New York probation officer last month.

Trump’s immunity defense in front of the nation’s high court stemmed from his federal election interference case. But he has also claimed that he is “immune” from prosecution or civil threats in nearly all of the cases against him. Nearly all of those arguments have been rejected.

Trump’s attorneys have also filed a motion to dismiss his election interference case in Georgia, which mirrors the federal case against him. That case is currently in the hands of a state appeals court, pending a review of a decision to keep Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on the case. That court is not expected to take up the case until October, and a decision may not arrive until 2025, at which point the case will then head back to the lower court.

Trump also argues that he is immune from prosecution in his classified documents case.

Federal prosecutors argue that the charges have nothing to do with actions while in office; they involve Trump’s possession of classified materials after he left the White House, and his alleged attempts to evade law enforcement trying to get them back.