May 10, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Judge blasts Trump's subpoena to prosecutor as "improper fishing expedition"

Donald Trump, with attorney Todd Blanche (R), speaks to the press as he arrives for his criminal trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 10,

Donald Trump speaks to the press at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 10. Photo: Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images

New York Judge Juan Merchan on Friday rejected former President Trump's bid to subpoena former Manhattan assistant D.A. Mark Pomerantz as part of his ongoing hush money criminal trial.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team had sought documents from Pomerantz's time at the Manhattan district attorney's office as well as some dated after his departure.

Context: Pomerantz had helped lead the probe into Trump under former D.A. Cyrus Vance, but resigned in 2022 amidst Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg's initial unwillingness to pursue charges against Trump.

The big picture: Merchan, who is overseeing the hush money trial, in a ruling Friday quashed the Trump team's request for documents .

  • Several of the Trump team's document requests were "impermissibly broad" and "amount to an improper fishing expedition," Merchan wrote.
  • There is also "no reasonable likelihood" the requests would uncover any relevant information, he added.
  • Another request for documents following Pomerantz's departure "seeks information on topics that are not relevant and material to the facts at issue," Merchan wrote.

Zoom out: The trial is wrapping up its fourth week on Friday.

  • This week featured explosive testimony from adult film actress Stormy Daniels about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.
  • Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, stemming from a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels. Trump has denied having sex with Daniels.
  • Merchan on Thursday denied Trump's second bid for a mistrial.
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