Rep. Elise Stefanik seeks probe into Judge Juan Merchan's selection to preside over 3 Trump-related cases

 May 30, 2024

Critics of the numerous legal cases involving former President Donald Trump have long suspected that they are politically motivated in nature, and according to one prominent Republican lawmaker, there has also been misconduct when it comes to who is hearing them.

As the New York Post explains, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has filed a misconduct complaint against Judge Juan Merchan, currently presiding over Trump's Manhattan hush money trial, and according to the congresswoman, there was nothing random about his assignment to the case.

“Not random at all”

Stefanik, an outspoken defender of the former president and also the chair of the House Republican Conference, submitted her complaint to the New York State Unified Court System on Tuesday.

The lawmaker has asked the inspector general to conduct a probe “to determine whether the required random selection process was in fact followed in the case of placing Merchan on the Trump case and on other matters related to his associates.

Stefanik wrote in her communication, “The potential misconduct pertains to the repeated assignment of Acting Justice Juan Merchan, a Democrat Party donor, to criminal cases related to President Donald J. Trump.”

She noted that Merchan is currently overseeing the so-called hush money case brought by D.A. Alvin Bragg, presided over a criminal trial against the Trump Organization, and has been slated to preside over the criminal case involving former Trump White House advisor Steve Bannon.

According to Stefanik's complaint, at least 24 other sitting justices were eligible to handle the aforementioned cases, but someone, Merchan ended up on all three, something she finds highly unusual and perhaps the result of improper, behind-the-scenes machinations.

Against all odds

In Stefanik's view, “If justices were indeed being randomly assigned in the Criminal Term, the probability of two specific criminal cases being assigned to the same justice is quite low, and the probability of three specific criminal cases being assigned to the same justice is infinitesimally small.”

“And yet,” she continued, “we see Acting Justice Merchan on all three cases.”

The congresswoman outlined Merchan's history of supporting political causes and organizations that oppose Trump, including the 2020 Biden for President campaign as well as the Progressive Turnout Project and Stop Republicans.

Merchan's daughter is employed by Authentic Campaigns, a liberal consulting firm Stefanik says “stands to profit greatly if Donald Trump is convicted.”

Not the first time

The complaint regarding Merchan is not Stefanik's first time going to bat for Trump amid his legal challenges, as NBC News reported late last year.

In November, the congresswoman filed a judicial ethics complaint against Judge Arthur Engoron, who presided over Trump's civil fraud trial involving real estate valuations New York Attorney General Letitia James said were wrongly inflated in order to achieve favorable loan terms from banks.

Declaring that Engoron had demonstrated “clear judicial bias” and engaged in “weaponized lawfare” in the Trump case, Stefanik then -- and now -- has established herself as one of the former president's staunchest advocates and, as some suggest, perhaps even a contender to become his 2024 running mate.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.