Judge refuses to recuse himself from Trump's hush money case despite daugther's professional ties to Democrats

 April 6, 2024

Former President Trump demanded Justice Juan Merchan recuse himself from his hush money case over ties he and his daughter have to Democrats, The Hill reported. Merchan has already denied such a request over the summer.

With only two weeks to go before the start of his trial, Trump is once again calling out the judge's possible conflict. Merchan's daughter works for a digital marketing firm that has done projects for Democrats.

The original motion to recuse included Merchan's daughter's work history as well. It also pointed to the judge's $35 donation to President Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election, among other leftist causes.

Merchan claims that the New York State ethics advisory panel cleared him to continue serving on the trial. Meanwhile, the office of anti-Trump Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said "no changed circumstances" have arisen that would require a second look at the issue.

Trump's Argument for Recusal

In the 37-page motion, Trump attorneys Todd Blanche and Emil Bove argued that Merchan's "political agenda" clouded his ability to oversee the case fairly. "Personal political views may not be a basis for recusal," they conceded.

"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. Accordingly, President Trump respectfully requests that the Court recuse itself," the lawyers said.

The attorneys rightly pointed to the "enormous power" Merchan holds in his position to "incarcerate and incapacitate" Trump during the 2024 election cycle. This gives the judge the ability to take out the "chief political rival" of Merchan's daughter's clients.

The attorneys also pointed to the way digital marketing clients used Trump's legal troubles to their advantage, further underscoring the problematic nature of Merchan's involvement. Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff was fundraising for his Senate bid off of them.

"The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has indicted Donald Trump for criminal offenses — the first-ever indictment of a former American president," fundraising materials for Schiff said. The same went for Democratic groups House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC.

Holes in the Case

Beyond just the problems with Merchan, there were holes in the case against Trump from the start. The former president is accused of concealing payments made to a former porn star in 2016 to keep her from disclosing their affair.

At most, Trump may have broken campaign finance laws that don't reach the level of the criminal charges that were pinned on him. Even left-leaning Vox Ian Millhiser realized it when the indictment was announced last April.

"It concerns not Trump’s efforts to overthrow the duly elected government of the United States, but his alleged effort to cover up a possible extramarital affair with a porn star. And there's a very real risk that this indictment will end in an even bigger anticlimax," Millhiser wrote.

"It is unclear that the felony statute that Trump is accused of violating actually applies to him," he added. This is exactly what the jury, which will be chosen in the next two weeks, will be faced with.

These Democrats in New York are anti-Trump zealots and aren't even bothering to hide it. However, evidence that Merchan's daughter has gotten paid by Trump's opposition makes a convincing argument in favor of the judge's recusal, even on the basis of appearances.

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