IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Manhattan DA tells judge not to further delay Trump trial: 'Enough is enough'

The district attorney's office said only about 300 of the over 170,000 documents recently turned over to Trump's lawyers have any relevance to the case.
Get more newsLiveon

State prosecutors in New York said Thursday that fewer than 300 of the over 170,000 documents recently turned over to lawyers for former President Donald Trump are potentially relevant to his criminal defense and that their case alleging falsified business records should proceed to trial on April 15.

In a court filing, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office said the vast majority of the evidence turned over by federal prosecutors that it considers new and relevant originated from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and has no bearing on the allegations against Trump.

“Enough is enough. These tactics by defendant and defense counsel should be stopped,” the DA’s filing said, referring to Trump’s attempts to further delay or derail the trial.

Cohen is expected to be a key witness in the trial, which was delayed until at least mid-April following the eleventh-hour disclosures by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan. Trump's lawyers have accused the DA's office of failing to do its due diligence by getting the records earlier, and have asked Judge Juan Merchan to dismiss the charges as a punishment.

In its filing Thursday, the DA's office called their arguments "a red herring."

Alvin Bragg speaks during a press conference.
Alvin Bragg at a news conference to discuss his indictment of Donald Trump outside federal court in New York on April 4, 2023.Angela Weiss / AFP - Getty Images file

"Defendant has reacted to the USAO’s disclosures by demanding that this Court dismiss the charges, preclude witnesses, or adjourn the trial for at least ninety days; and by leveling wild and untrue allegations of misconduct and malfeasance," the filing said. "Defendant's accusations are wholly unfounded, and the circumstances here do not come close to warranting the extreme sanctions he has sought."

Bragg's office said while it's still reviewing the mountain of materials, it now has "good reason to believe that this production contains only limited materials relevant to the subject matter of this case and that have not previously been disclosed to defendant: fewer than an estimated 270 documents." It says most of the 270 documents are "corroborative of existing evidence."

The "major relevant items are witness statements not previously in any party’s possession, consisting of about 172 pages of notes recording Cohen’s meetings with the Special Counsel investigating Russian interference," the filing said.

The evidence is related to Cohen’s 2018 guilty plea to a number of criminal charges, including making secret payments to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump and lying to Congress about his boss’ business dealings with Russia.

The hush money payments are at the heart of the DA’s case, which alleges Trump falsified business records related to Cohen’s $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the closing days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Federal prosecutors alleged Cohen paid the women off “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, who was not charged in the federal case. The former president has pleaded not guilty in the DA's case.

The DA argued the “overwhelming majority of the production is entirely immaterial, duplicative or substantially duplicative of previously disclosed materials, or cumulative of evidence concerning Michael Cohen’s unrelated federal convictions that defendant has been on notice about for months."

As it has done previously, the DA's office also blamed Trump for the late disclosures, saying his lawyers didn't raise any concerns that items were missing when it turned over the information it had obtained from the U.S. attorney's office in June of last year. Trump's team didn't seek additional documents from federal prosecutors until this past January, which eventually led to the additional documents being turned over, the filing noted.

The filing also shed some light on why the U.S. attorney's office hadn't turned the documents over to the DA in June — it said it didn't have the Mueller-related material at that time.

An affidavit by one of the Manhattan DA’s prosecutors, Christopher Conroy, said he'd been told that federal prosecutors didn't get the FBI interview records — called 302s — until December, when they were sent in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The U.S. attorney's office also turned over piles of information from its own investigation into Cohen, including bank records that may or may not relate to Cohen's guilty plea to the federal election charge stemming from the hush money payments. Federal prosecutors said it would be "unreasonably burdensome" for them to sort through the relevant bank records, so they handed them all over to the DA, and the DA then shared them with the defense, according to the filing.

Conroy added that other evidence turned over by federal prosecutors was duplicative, including copies of Cohen’s cellphones, which the DA’s office already had and had shared with Trump's defense.

The DA's office noted it had agreed to a delay of the trial, which had been scheduled to begin next Monday, to allow Trump's team time to review the evidence. Merchan stayed the case until April 15, which the DA argued is when the proceedings should move forward.

Trump’s lawyers have asked for a 90-day delay.

The DA's office contended there shouldn't be any more delays.

“Defendant has taken every possible step to evade accountability in this case for more than a year," the filing said, and his "motion and subsequent filings are a transparent attempt to shift the focus away from his own criminal conduct."

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Monday, when the judge could set a new trial date.