Alvin Bragg objects to second Trump recusal motion in hush money case

 April 9, 2024

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) objected in court papers on Monday to a second motion by former President Donald Trump for Judge Juan Merchan to recuse himself from the case, claiming that it was just another delay tactic to prevent the trial from going forward. 

Lawyers for Trump argued that Merchan's daughter Loren Merchan has an ownership stake in Authentic, a top Democrat marketing firm, and that it presents a conflict of interest in the case.

“The manner in which Authentic and Ms. Merchan are marketing the company, and making money, through expressions of animus toward President Trump has created a prohibited appearance of impropriety,” Trump’s attorneys argued.

The firm's top clients include President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), all Trump rivals and/or haters.

Asked and answered

An ethics panel found last year that a judge's impartiality can't be questioned because of a "first-degree relative's" business or political interests.

Flooding the court with motions and frivolous filings is not a new tactic; it's one used by many powerful defendants to delay the trial and prevent cases from moving forward in a timely manner.

Trump has made the point repeatedly that he can't get a fair trial in New York City because it is so liberal.

He has also pointed out that many of the prosecutions against him are politically motivated, even if it doesn't technically have anything to do with Merchan's daughter.


Bragg and his team said that the facts Trump attorneys used in the second motion were "warmed-over" and duplicative of arguments in the first one.

For instance, they said he was the "presumptive 2024 GOP presidential nominee," and in the last brief they said he was "actively campaigning for re-election."

“Defendant’s motion is not a good-faith effort to identify legitimate grounds for this Court’s recusal,” they wrote.

If no other cause for delay can be found, the trial will begin April 14 with jury selection and last through the month of May.

Uncertain outcome

The four criminal indictments against Trump have helped him politically so far by outraging his base, which agrees that the charges are unfounded and politically motivated.

A conviction could further outrage voters and entrench Trump's position at the top of the GOP, or it could give voters pause about whether they want the leader of the free world to be a convicted felon with more convictions possible as time goes on.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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