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Trump Ally Elise Stefanik Says Hush Money Judge Is Biased And Should Recuse Himself

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives called out the New York Supreme Court Justice presiding over former President Donald Trump’s hush money case for “clear bias” and demanded that he recuse himself.

“Democrat Manhattan Judge Juan Merchan, who donated to [President Joe] Biden’s campaign and another anti-Trump cause in 2020, has a clear judicial bias against President Trump,” she wrote on the X platform.

“Merchan’s adult daughter is a Democrat political operative who has financially benefited from her father’s unprecedented trial of President Trump. When Trump raised this additional evidence of Judge Merchan’s bias, Merchan retaliated by expanding his unconstitutional gag order on Trump,” she added.

“The law and common sense absolutely requires Judge Merchan’s recusal from President Trump’s trial,” the New York Republican continued. “We cannot allow a biased, far-left activist judge to strip the American people of our constitutional right to select their own leaders.”

Several Republicans were caught off guard this week when Michael Avenatti, the former attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels, defended former President Donald Trump regarding the gag order imposed in the Manhattan criminal case against the former president.

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Avenatti wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “We can’t be hypocrites when it comes to the 1st Amendment. It is outrageous that [Michael] Cohen and Daniels can do countless TV interviews, post on social, & make $$ on bogus documentaries – all by talking sh*t about Trump – but he’s gagged and threatened with jail if he responds.”

Avenatti — who is currently serving a prison sentence for embezzling millions of dollars from his clients and impeding the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) efforts to collect taxes from Daniels’s now-defunct coffee company Tully’s — previously represented Daniels in lawsuits against Trump.

Daniels was one of the clients that Avenatti defrauded for $300,000.

In a case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records about payments of hush money made to Daniels during his 2016 campaign.

Daniels has claimed that she received payment to remain silent regarding an early 2000s affair she had with Trump. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all charges and denied having had an affair. He asserted that there is political motivation for the case.

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Merchan, who is overseeing the case that is scheduled for trial on April 15, placed a gag order on Trump last week to prevent the former president from publicly attacking witnesses like Daniels and court employees. The original order did not include Merchan or Bragg.

Still, on Monday, Merchan extended it to protect his family better after Trump repeatedly attacked his daughter, Loren Merchan, on social media.

Several conservatives and Trump supporters expressed surprise over Avenatti’s post.

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Laura Loomer responded to Avenatti’s post: “WOW. Never thought I would see this. @MichaelAvenatti is defending President Trump’s right to free speech and is calling out the gag order imposed by Judge Merchan. Avenatti was one of the biggest Trump haters, and even he’s calling out this outrageous gag order on Trump.”

“Believe it or not: The @DNC’s Communist Lawfare is so disgraceful – That I agree with a disgraced former Democrat superstar, posting from his prison cell!” wrote X user @ConserValidity, a self-described constitutional conservative and supporter of Trump’s Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement.

Another Trump supporter, X user @texan_maga, wrote: “Avenatti is correct. Perhaps sitting in prison, he’s done some soul searching.”

“You know that @TheDemocrats and Leftist Judges have #ScrewedUp when Michael Avenatti defends what’s happening to Trump,” wrote X user @CreasonJana, a MAGA supporter.

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