Judge Juan Merchan shoots down Trump’s presidential immunity claim ahead of Stormy Daniels hush money trial

NEW YORK — Donald Trump failed on Wednesday to delay the Stormy Daniels hush money trial until the Supreme Court decides whether his former presidency protects him from legal liability, with Judge Juan Merchan saying he brought it up far too late — raising “real questions” about why.

“Defendant’s decision is unjustifiable and renders this motion untimely. Further, and as an aside, the fact that the Defendant waited until a mere 17 days prior to the scheduled trial date ... raises real questions about the sincerity and actual purpose of the motion,” Merchan wrote, denying Trump’s motion in its entirety.

“After all, Defendant had already briefed the same issue in federal court and he was in possession of, and aware that, (prosecutors) intended to offer the relevant evidence at trial that entire time. The circumstances, viewed as a whole, test this Court’s credulity.”

The effort is one of at least eight by Trump to delay the trial slated to begin April 15. He has pleaded not guilty to 34 felonies alleging he concealed reimbursement to Michael Cohen during his first year in the White House for carrying out a hush money scheme that included payoffs to Daniels, Playboy model Karen McDougal, and a Trump Tower doorman to hide a series of sex scandals from voters. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Trump’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and a spokeswoman for prosecutors declined to comment.