Trump hush money sentencing delayed to September

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Donald Trump's sentencing for his conviction on criminal charges stemming from hush money paid to an adult film star was delayed on Tuesday until September 18, less than seven weeks before the US election.

Justice Juan Merchan pushed back the sentencing date so he can weigh the former US president's argument he should have been immune from prosecution under Monday's landmark Supreme Court ruling that presidents cannot be criminally prosecuted for official acts.

The new timeline means Merchan could decide the Republican presidential candidate's punishment, including whether to jail him, in the thick of the campaign season before the November 5 election.

The sentencing had previously been set for July 11, just days before the July 15 kick-off of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

Trump faces an uphill battle getting the hush money conviction overturned, since much of the conduct at issue in the case predated his time in office.

Trump's lawyers on Monday asked Merchan to allow them to argue his conviction should be overturned due to the justices' 6-3 ruling on July 1, which also held that evidence related to presidents' official actions cannot be used to help prove criminal cases involving unofficial actions

Prosecutors with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office said earlier on Tuesday that Trump's argument was "without merit," but agreed to delay the sentencing to give Trump the chance to make his case.

A Manhattan jury on May 30 found Trump guilty of falsifying business records to cover up his former lawyer Michael Cohen's $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to stay quiet about an alleged 2006 encounter until after the 2016 election, in which Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Prosecutors said the payment was part of an illicit scheme to influence the election.

Trump denies any sexual liaison with Daniels and has vowed to appeal the conviction after his sentencing.

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