The Associated Press reports that former President Donald Trump's legal team on Friday filed a motion demanding that the judge overseeing the case recuse himself.
This regards the unprecedented criminal case that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has brought against Trump.
Bragg has charged Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. The charges stem from the so-called hush-money payments that Trump, through his attorney, made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump has pled "not guilty" to the charges, and he has insisted that Bragg's motivation here is purely political, that Bragg is looking to interfere with his 2024 presidential campaign. Legal experts have given this notion some credence by pointing out that there is not much substance to Bragg's charges.
The case is being overseen by Judge Juan Manuel Merchan.
Trump and Merchan already have a bit of a history as Merchan was involved in two other legal cases related to Trump.
The BBC reports:
In 2022, Justice Juan Manuel Merchan presided over the tax-fraud trial that led to the conviction of the Trump Organization's chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg . . . The New York County Supreme Court judge is also presiding over a criminal case against the former president's close ally, Steve Bannon, who has been charged with fraud and money laundering in connection with a charity that was supposed to help build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Not long after his arraignment, in April, Trump gave a speech, at Mar-a-Lago, in which he blasted Merchan.
This is where we are right now. I have a Trump-hating judge, with a Trump-hating wife and family, whose daughter worked for Kamala Harris and now receives money from the Biden-Harris campaign.
Now, Trump is trying to get Merchan to recuse himself. In the motion, Trump's legal team essentially accuses Merchan of harboring an anti-Trump bias and of having conflicts of interest.
The Washington Examiner, based on a statement that it received from Trump's team, reports Trump's lawyers as alleging:
Merchan's daughter would "significantly financially benefit from a decision" that Merchan makes in this case due to her "direct efforts" with President Joe Biden's campaign.
This, though, is only part of the problem.
The Examiner reports, "the statement also cites Merchan's apparent political contributions to Biden and to other causes, such as one titled 'Stop Republicans.'"
At the time of this writing, Merchan had yet to respond to the motion.