Trump Demands Judge Merchal’s Recusal

( – Former President Donald Trump goes on trial in mid-April for allegations of financial fraud related to the 2016 election. The judge on the case put a gag order on the former POTUS, preventing him from attacking the judge’s daughter and others related to the case. Trump is now calling for the judge to recuse himself.

On April 2, Manhattan court officials made a filing public in Trump’s criminal case. The former president’s legal team claimed Judge Juan M. Merchan had a conflict of interest because his adult daughter has worked as a political consultant for Democratic candidates in the past. Further, they alleged her company, Authentic Campaigns, has touted its connections to President Joe Biden in the past and used social media to insult the former president.

The filing came after Trump falsely claimed Loren Merchan posted a photo of him on social media that showed him behind bars. He posted two photos of her on Truth Social and named her. The judge expanded a gag order against him in light of the attacks, prohibiting him from attacking the family members of anyone involved in the case.

Trump’s attorneys claimed the criminal trial is going to “benefit Authentic financially by providing its clients more fodder for fund-raising” and the judge’s daughter would “earn money” by court developments. The lawyers told Judge Merchan that he had an interest in the case and called for him to recuse himself.

The Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office responded to the allegations, pointing out Merchan had already said he wasn’t recusing himself. They cited a 2023 opinion by the Judicial Ethics Committee stating the judge was impartial and should be able to continue to oversee the case.

Prosecutors accused the Trump legal team of offering no new evidence, just “a daisy chain of innuendos.”

The judge hasn’t responded to the latest attempt to have him recuse himself. The trial is still scheduled to begin on April 15. On April 3, Merchan ruled against a separate request from Trump asking for the case to be delayed until the Supreme Court decides whether he has presidential immunity. The judge ruled the former president raised the issue too late and denied his request.

The case centers around whether Trump falsified business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to a former adult film star he allegedly had an affair with while he was married. He allegedly had his attorney pay her to keep her mouth shut about the affair during the 2016 campaign before he became president.

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