In a significant setback for former President Donald Trump, a New York judge on Wednesday denied his motion to delay his upcoming criminal trial until the Supreme Court rules on the scope of presidential immunity. Judge Juan Merchan, presiding over the case in which Trump is accused of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments, deemed the request untimely and questioned the sincerity of the motion.

The trial, stemming from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's charges against Trump, is set to begin on April 15. Trump had urged the court to postpone the proceedings until the Supreme Court issues a decision on presidential immunity in a separate federal election interference case. However, Judge Merchan found that Trump had ample opportunities to raise the immunity claim well before the March 7, 2024 filing.

"This Court finds that Defendant had myriad opportunities to raise the claim of presidential immunity well before March 7, 2024," Merchan wrote in the Wednesday ruling. "After all, Defendant had already briefed the same issue in federal court and he was in possession of, and aware that, the People intended to offer the relevant evidence at trial that entire time."

The judge also questioned the timing of Trump's motion, noting that it was filed a mere 17 days before the originally scheduled trial date of March 25. "The circumstances, viewed as a whole, test this Court's credulity," Merchan added.

Trump's lawyers and the Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to comment on the ruling.

The New York case revolves around allegations that Trump criminally falsified business records to conceal a $130,000 hush money payment made by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election. Prosecutors argue that the payment was made to prevent Daniels from going public about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, which he denies, and that it violated federal election laws dealing with campaign contribution limits.

Trump had also called for the exclusion of certain evidence in the case, such as social media posts about the payments to Cohen, based on the presidential immunity doctrine. However, Judge Merchan declined to consider the merits of this argument due to the untimely nature of the motion.

The Supreme Court has agreed to consider the extent of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for acts during a presidency in Trump's federal election interference case, with oral arguments scheduled for April 25. Trump had argued that delaying the New York trial until after the Supreme Court's ruling would reduce the risk of having to retry the case if the immunity doctrine was not applied properly.

Despite Trump's efforts to postpone or upend trial dates in other criminal cases, the New York hush money trial appears to be moving forward as planned. The denial of his motion to delay the proceedings marks a significant development in the ongoing legal challenges faced by the former president.