Donald Trump is seeking a six-month delay in the New York attorney general’s fraud case against him and his company, which if granted would likely push back any trial until deep into the 2024 presidential campaign.
In a Friday court filing, the former U.S. president, who is seeking another White House term, said “fundamental fairness and due process” justified delaying Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million case, including the scheduled Oct. 2 trial.
Any delay would require approval from Justice Arthur Engoron of the state supreme court in Manhattan, who has resisted pushing back the timetable.
Following a three-year probe, James sued Trump, the Trump Organization and others last September over an alleged decade-long scheme to manipulate more than 200 asset valuations and Trump’s net worth, to win better terms from banks and insurers.
Trump said extending deadlines by six months would provide the necessary time to review the “staggering” volume of materials, including millions of pages of documents, and question dozens of witnesses.
He said talks on an “amicable resolution” broke down after James’ office proposed shorter extensions, but only if the defendants gave up some rights to gather evidence.
“The complaint seeks to deprive defendants of their constitutionally protected right and ability to transact business,” Trump said.
“Fundamental notions of fair play and due process mandate that defendants are afforded every opportunity to prepare a meaningful defense, rather than to have an impossible schedule forced upon them.”
Trump’s request was joined by the other defendants, including three of his adult children Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka.
According to court filings, Engoron said at a recent conference that the trial would start on Oct. 2 “come hell or high water,” and emailed lawyers last week that “with all that has already been accomplished, I see no reason” to delay it.
Trump, a Republican, has called James’ case a partisan witch hunt. James is a Democrat.
The defendants want deadlines of Sept. 29 for fact discovery, Dec. 5 for expert witness discovery, and Dec. 8 to provide a certificate of readiness for trial.