Trump files a motion to get New York judge replaced

 April 6, 2024

The legal team of former President Donald Trump has just filed a motion to replace New York Judge Juan Merchan.

The Daily Caller reports that the motion was filed on Friday, April 5, 2024.

Merchan is the judge who is presiding over the so-called hush-money case that has been brought against the former president by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D). Bragg alleges that Trump illegally misreported the alleged payment on business records.

Trump has maintained his innocence, and he has insisted that Bragg is trying to run election interference on behalf of President Joe Biden.

The latest

This case is just starting to heat up, with jury selection scheduled to take place in the coming weeks. In the meantime, though, Trump is attempting to get Merchan replaced.

In their latest filing, Trump's legal team argued that Merchan ought to recuse himself due to the political activities of his daughter - Loren Merchan.

"Your Honor’s daughter, Loren Merchan, has a direct financial interest in these proceedings by virtue of her ownership stake and leadership role at Authentic Campaigns, Inc. Based on public disbursements data, Authentic, which services exclusively Democrat clients, is the #21 ranked vendor in the country in connection with the 2024 election," the filing reads.

It continues, "The Court’s interest in these proceedings by virtue of the close relationship with an immediate relative, and Ms. Merchan’s ongoing receipt of commercial and reputational benefits based on the manner in which Your Honor has conducted these proceedings, requires recusal based on an actual conflict and an unacceptable appearance of impropriety."

Trump's lawyers noted that, while it is true that "personal political views may not be a basis for recusal," "profiting from the promotion of a political agenda that is hostile to President Trump" is.

What now?

NBC News reports that this is not the first time that Trump has attempted to get Merchan to recuse himself. But, thus far, Merchan has refused to do so.

Per the outlet:

Merchan, who gave Trump's attorneys permission to file the motion, rejected a similar argument by Trump's lawyers in August of last year. In that decision, the judge said he'd sought guidance from the state courts system’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics over his daughter’s employment.

Given this, it is probably unlikely that Merchan will all of a sudden change his mind and decide to recuse himself. But, we'll find out soon enough.

Legal experts - including renowned defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is no Trump supporter - have agreed with Trump that Merchan ought to recuse himself due to the conflict of interest that results from his daughter.

This all comes roughly two weeks before the trial is set to begin.

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