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Trump's Legal Team Makes Second Attempt To Recuse Judge In Hush Money Case — Cites This 'Unacceptable Risk' In A Letter

Author: Benzinga Neuro | April 02, 2024 09:38pm

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers have once again requested the recusal of Judge Juan Merchan from the New York hush money trial.

What Happened: Trump’s legal team is making a second attempt to have Judge Merchan removed from the case. The lawyers argue that the judge’s daughter’s political work and a recent gag order against Trump could influence the trial, reported NBC News.

The attorneys, in a letter to Merchan, expressed concerns over an “unacceptable risk” that the judge’s daughter's employment with political firm Authentic Campaigns could affect his conduct. The firm had worked with Joe Biden's campaign in 2020.

“Your Honor's daughter is an executive and partner at Authentic Campaigns, Inc. As recently as February and March 2024, Authentic has used social media to market its connections to President Biden and Vice President Harris while deriding President Trump,” said the letter, according to the report.

See Also: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Bid To Oust Speaker Mike Johnson Labeled ‘Idiotic’ By GOP Rep: ‘It Undermines Our House Republican Majority’

The letter also accuses Merchan of making extrajudicial comments about the case and using his position to issue a statement about an account associated with his daughter. The lawyers have requested permission to file a motion in support of their arguments.

Trump’s attorneys previously sought Merchan's recusal last year, citing "significant conflicts," including his daughter's employment. However, Merchan refused to recuse himself, asserting his ability to be fair and impartial.

The trial, related to hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign, is set to begin on April 15.

Why It Matters: Earlier, Judge Merchan imposed a gag order on Trump, which was described as different from previous gag orders by the ex-president’s niece Mary Trump.

Trump initiated a verbal onslaught against the judge’s daughter after the imposition of the order. In response, an expanded gag order was issued on Tuesday.

State Judge Merchan barred Trump from attacking family members of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting such attacks posed a threat to judicial integrity and trial participation. Trump’s legal team had defended his comments as protected speech, while Bragg’s office argued they intimidated witnesses and trial participants.

Read Next: Hillary Clinton Blasts Trump For Appointing Judges That Overturned Legal Abortion: ‘We’re Witnessing The Fallout’ Now In Florida And Across The Country


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