Trump's Fury Unleashed: Slams Judge's Ruling In Criminal Trial, Calls For Recusal

By Alan Hume | Tuesday, 02 April 2024 09:20 PM
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In a recent development, former President Donald Trump has expressed his discontent with the New York judge presiding over his hush money criminal trial.

This follows the judge's decision to broaden a gag order in the case, a move that Trump has criticized as unfair, given that others are free to discuss him.

In a post on Truth Social, Trump wrote, "I just was informed that another corrupt New York Judge, Juan Merchan, GAGGED me so that I can not talk about the corruption and conflicts taking place in his courtroom with respect to a case that everyone, including the D.A., felt should never have been brought. They can talk about me, but I can’t talk about them???"

Trump further expressed his dissatisfaction with the situation, stating, "That sounds fair, doesn’t it? This Judge should be recused, and the case should be thrown out. There has virtually never been a more conflicted judge than this one. ELECTION INTERFERENCE at its worst!"

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Justice Juan Merchan issued a ruling on Monday night that extended the former president's gag order, restricting his ability to criticize Merchan's daughter, Loren, a Democratic political consultant. In his ruling, Merchan wrote, "This pattern of attacking family members of presiding jurists and attorneys assigned to his cases serves no legitimate purpose. It merely injects fear in those assigned or called to participate in the proceedings, that not only they, but their family members as well, are ‘fair game’ for Defendant’s vitriol."

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The initial gag order in the case limited Trump's public comments about jurors, witnesses, and "family members of any counsel or staff member." However, it did not extend to family members of Merchan or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D). The new gag order, issued by Merchan, now includes his and Bragg's family members, following a request from the district attorney.

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Loren Merchan is an executive at the progressive political consulting firm Authentic Campaigns, which has worked on campaigns for various Democratic leaders, including Vice President Harris, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), and President Biden, who is Trump's potential 2024 opponent.

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Last week, Trump responded to a social media account on X, formerly Twitter, that initially seemed to belong to the judge's daughter and featured a photo illustration of an imprisoned Trump as its profile picture. The New York state Office of Court Administration (OCA) later clarified that the account was no longer associated with the judge's daughter, stating that she had deleted the account about a year ago.

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Trump's legal team had previously requested that the judge recuse himself from the case due to his daughter's work. However, Merchan dismissed the request after consulting the state's judicial ethics advisory committee. Trump's lawyers indicated on Monday that they would submit a new motion seeking the judge's recusal.

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Trump is facing 34 counts in the hush money case, with the trial scheduled to commence on April 15. The charges allege that the former president illegally falsified business records when he reimbursed his former fixer, Michael Cohen, for making a payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to hide an affair ahead of the 2016 election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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In addition to this case, Trump has also launched attacks against other judges and their family members in his other legal cases. During his civil fraud trial, which concluded earlier this year with a $464 million judgment, Trump accused the judge's wife and son of either wanting to see the former president imprisoned or financially benefiting from the proceedings.

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