The New York judge presiding over Donald Trump‘s hush-money case has signaled a possible change to the trial’s March start date as a result of the former president’s other cases that are set to play out in court next year.
In a brief letter, Judge Juan Merchan said he that he would no longer hold a conference to discuss scheduling in the Manhattan case, opting instead to hold the discussions on Feb. 15 when the parties meet to discuss motions.
“In light of the many recent developments involving Mr. Trump and his rapidly evolving trial schedule, I do not believe it would be fruitful for us to conference this case on September 15 to discuss scheduling,” Merchan wrote to Trump lawyer Todd Blanche in a letter dated Sept. 1 that was first reported by Business Insider and obtained Monday by NBC News.
“We will have a much better sense at that time whether there are any actual conflicts and if so, what the best adjourn date might be for trial,” he added.
In the meantime, Merchan said, he will keep the existing schedule for the case, in which Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has pleaded not guilty.
The case is schedule to go to trial March 25. He was indicted in March of this year.
Blanche and a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday night.
Blanche last month had requested a status conference to discuss the trial date in the Manhattan case.
Trump’s civil and criminal trials have been piling up in recent months, with one starting next month and several others starting in the first half of 2024, when the GOP primary season will be in full swing.
Trump has argued that various legal challenges against him should be delayed until after the 2024 presidential election.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over Trump’s federal case in Washington, D.C., has said publicly that she has spoken to Merchan about rescheduling the New York case to allow the election interference trial to go first. That trial is scheduled to start March 4.