The Supreme Court’s ruling on presidential immunity has pushed back sentencing in Trump’s Manhattan trial 

July 3 – Sentencing for former president Donald Trump in the hush money trial in New York was supposed to happen on July 11, but the judge has pushed that to September 18 – if it happens at all. 

Trump’s attorneys argued that since the Supreme Court ruling that presidents have immunity for certain official aspects of the office, the whole case should potentially be thrown out. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “This delay was at the request of Trump’s attorneys immediately after the Supreme Court issued that decision on presidential immunity Monday. Trump’s defense team in the state case in New York, filed a motion asking that Trump’s convictions be vacated. Trump’s defense team is arguing that some of the evidence that was introduced in the state trial, the hush money trial that led to the 34 convictions, would now be not admissible because it’s presidential immunity based on the Supreme Court finding. So it’s very confusing, in a way, because the Supreme Court is obviously addressing federal issues. Trump has been convicted in state court, but in that state trial, they used evidence that would now fall under presidential immunity to convict him. So the next two months, the prosecution and Trump’s defense team, they’re now going to make arguments and file memos pointing out aspects of the New York case that may now be out of bounds based on the Supreme Court decision, and what might happen here is Judge Merchan will have to make a ruling on those points. He’ll still sentence Trump on September 18. It’s likely, though, all of these new issues will then be immediately sent up for review on appeal, and the case will just stay in a suspended status until appeal courts sort out what should happen.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “This just points to the asinine nature of this novel legal theory that they applied and I don’t know how anybody with an ounce of sense who actually looks into this can’t see how this was such a politically motivated case from beginning to end again. It was always so unclear how that poor jury was handed the most ridiculous instruction of how to find Trump guilty or not and to tie it all up with these sort of vague federal issues, even though this was being brought by the state of New York and supposedly based on laws broken there. They only asked for all of this themselves by doing this. Alvin Bragg has nobody to blame but himself for the problems this is in. What bothers me is this judge showing good jurisprudence throughout all of this? It’s actually, I think, being highlighted here and isn’t it a little bit ridiculous how he just resets dates? Do you honestly feel like he knows what he’s going to do, or is he going to wait and put his finger in the air for the political climate and then make a decision about how he’s going to go forward?”

Barkdoll confirmed, “It’s a legitimate question. Now, again, this delay was Trump’s request. This wasn’t Judge Merchan. He wanted to move forward next week. Trump’s own attorneys ask for the delay, but it does make you wonder, does this judge know what he’s going to do, or is he waiting to see how things might unfold politically? But just as an example to tie these two things together, remember, the Supreme Court on Monday said if the president acts in a manner that is an official act, so that’s immunity, those actions cannot be introduced in a later prosecution for a criminal case. Well, how does that apply in New York? Think about all of those witnesses that came in and testified to the jury. Hope Hicks was someone, one of the president’s advisers, she came in and testified about all these communications she had with Donald Trump while she was working in the White House that corroborated this hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. Well, according to the Supreme Court decision Monday, that is one example that would be specifically excluded now from a jury even considering. So you wonder, could that whole case just be blown up? Because how does the court just carve out one witness and say, set that aside? I think there’s a scenario here, if not Merchan himself or an appeals court, they may vacate that whole conviction and say, you have to either just dismiss it or send it back for a whole new trial and strip out all of these witnesses that would now be protected under the Supreme Court decision.”

Jansen said, “Let’s be clear about something here. They didn’t just invent this. It isn’t the five jurists on the Supreme Court who just invented this whole idea that there would be immunity for things done by a sitting president. They just were forced to verbalize and put this into a decision. But something that’s already been precedent for a very, very long time. We are seeing, supposedly, people who care only about the law deciding to go against that to bring an obviously political prosecution here. I don’t know how anybody can get around that, and everybody acts like the Supreme Court just invented this. No, they didn’t, and they didn’t say he has immunity in all cases. They talked about specifically the things done in the official capacity that is constitutional, meaning he can’t bring in Seal Team Six and assassinate anybody, as some of the most absurd, including one of the Supreme Court justices, suggested. So really, it is the fault of not following what they already knew to be precedent in law that brought us here.”

Barkdoll agreed, “That’s right. I mean, the Supreme Court is basically confirming what the law has always been. There was already a US Supreme Court decision from the 80s that said presidents were immune from civil liability and civil lawsuits. Historically, the same rule has applied when it comes to criminality. Really, their decision is just confirming what has always been. Justice Roberts clearly says in the majority opinion, this decision does not insulate a president from being prosecuted. To the contrary, he says, yes, Donald Trump, yes, any president, you could still prosecute them criminally, but you can’t prosecute them if the conduct was in the context of official acts. This decision, they were forced into this. All of these criminal cases that are being filed, Trump’s defense naturally filed to have review of that made it to the Supreme Court, that forced the Supreme Court into this situation to make the decision.”