Trump to request recusal of NY Judge Merchan over conflict of interest caused by daughter's partisan activism

 April 2, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has come under fire for publicly criticizing the partisan political activism of the daughter of the judge presiding over his criminal case in New York, which is set to begin trial in just two weeks, as presenting a clear conflict of interest that should warrant the judge's recusal.

There is some validity to Trump's concerns, as it has now been revealed that the consulting firm run by Loren Merchan, the daughter of New York Judge Juan Merchan, has raked in millions of dollars from Democratic clients who've fundraised directly off Trump's criminal indictments, according to the New York Post.

The evidence further shows that the fundraising from which Merchan has financially benefited began in earnest in the immediate wake of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's criminal indictment of Trump for alleged falsification of business records almost exactly one year ago.

Judge should recuse based on daughter's anti-Trump partisan activism

The Post reported that Judge Merchan rejected a motion in August from former President Trump's attorneys that called for his recusal from the case because of the conflict of interest presented by the Democrat-aligned partisan activism of Merchan's daughter -- a request that those same attorneys are now considering refiling ahead of the April 15 trial start date.

"Authentic Campaigns, and thus the judge’s daughter, is actively making money from this sham attack against President Trump, rendering Judge Merchan conflicted out," Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told the Post of the political advertising and consulting firm run by Loren Merchan.

"The judge should do the right thing and immediately recuse himself in order to show the American people that the Democrats have not destroyed our justice system completely," he added, as Judge Merchan "continuing to be involved in this Crooked Joe Biden-directed Witch Hunt is a complete violation of applicable rules, regulations, and ethics."

Daughter's firm has helped Democratic clients raise millions off Trump's indictments

Merchan's outfit, Authentic Campaigns, prides itself on its successful "award-winning" advertising and fundraising efforts in support of approximately four dozen clients, including around three dozen prominent Democratic politicians and about a dozen other left-leaning organizations.

The Post noted that just two of those clients -- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is running for the Senate in California, and the Democrat-aligned Senate Majority PAC -- have raised a combined $93 million since former President Trump was first indicted in New York roughly one year ago, in large part because of solicitation emails composed and sent by Merchan's firm that directly reference the criminal indictment of Trump.

According to a March 30, 2023, report from Fox News, the emails soliciting donations for Schiff and the PAC were fired off immediately after DA Bragg indicted Trump for allegedly falsifying business records to cover up reimbursement to former personal attorney Michael Cohen for "hush money" payments he made during the 2016 election to silence accusers alleging prior sexual affairs with Trump.

The Post further reported that, according to Federal Election Commission records, Schiff's Senate campaign has raised more than $20 million over the past year, while the Senate Majority PAC has brought in more than $73.6 million over the same period, with many of their solicitations for donations making direct mention of the criminal indictments against Trump.

The outlet also observed that the PAC has reportedly paid Merchan's Authentic Campaigns more than $15 million since first partnering together in 2019, along with $10 million from Schiff's campaign for the advertising and fundraising services the firm provides.

Trump's critiques are valid

According to Newsweek, former President Trump's recent critical commentary about Judge Merchan and his daughter's partisan activism ruffled some feathers and sparked outraged claims from his political opponents that he had violated a limited gag order imposed by the judge and was unfairly attacking a family member of the judge who had no involvement in the case.

The main point of Trump's critique of the judge's daughter, however -- that her financially beneficial work on behalf of his political opponents represented a conflict of interest -- has seemingly been proven correct.

In fact, constitutional law professor and famed attorney Alan Dershowitz told the Post that Loren Merchan's anti-Trump partisan activism "seems to be a basis for recusal of the father," and further explained, "Under the law, close relationships can sometimes constitute a basis for recusal."

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