April 21, 2024

Trump slams Merchan's continued role, rulings in hush money case

With his New York hush money trial now underway in earnest, former President Donald Trump is not holding back his feelings about the man presiding over the case and what he believes should happen next.

As the Post Millennial reports, Trump demanded the removal of Judge Juan Merchan from the trial and blasted the premise on which the charges against him were filed.

Trump holds forth

Taking to his Truth Social platform over the weekend, the former president made no bones about his opinion of Merchan or the process thus far.

“This scam 'rushed' trial taking place in a 95% democrat area is a planned and coordinated witch hunt that could have been brought 8 years ago, but everybody passed,” he said.

He didn't stop there, adding, “Instead they waited and brought it right in the middle of my presidential campaign against the worst and most incompetent president ever, crooked Joe Biden.”

“It is being presided over by possibly the most conflicted judge in judicial history, who must be removed from this hoax immediately,” Trump added, referencing Merchan specifically.

Disqualifying conflicts alleged

Trump's lawyers have previously -- yet unsuccessfully -- requested Merchan's recusal from the case, citing an “unacceptable appearance of impropriety,” as NBC News has reported.

They have cited the fact that Merchan's daughter worked for and holds an equity stake in Authentic, a political consultancy that has worked with a number of Democrat-aligned groups dating back to the 2020 election.

Trump's lawyers wrote, “Personal political views may not be a basis for recusal. But profiting from the promotion of a political agenda that is hostile to President Trump, and has included fundraising solicitations based on this case, must be.”

Gag order decried

In addition, Trump has taken aim at speech restrictions imposed on him by Merchan, saying on Friday, “The gag order has to come off. I should be allowed to speak.”

“Every time I come out to speak to you, I want to be open because we did absolutely nothing wrong,” Trump explained to journalists assembled outside the Manhattan courtroom.

The former president emphasized, “They've taken away my constitutional rights to speak and that includes speaking to you, I have a lot to say to you and I'm not allowed to say it and I'm the only one, everyone else can say whatever they want about me,” but unless something dramatic changes in the coming days, it appears unlikely that Merchan will change his mind.

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