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Trump Demands Manhattan Judge Recuse Himself In DA Bragg’s Case

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


Lawyers for former President Donald Trump have filed a new motion in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case that has long-term implications for how it may play out.

In the motion, Trump is demanding that the judge recuse himself because the former president doesn’t believe he can be impartial, Just the News reported.

“Trump’s attorneys submitted a filing to the court pointing to Judge Juan Merchan’s past role in a previous case in which he encouraged former Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg to cooperate against the former president, before noting the political and financial interest of the judge’s daughter in the case’s outcome,” the report said.

“Merchan’s daughter works for Authentic Strategies, a left-wing advertising group that Trump’s attorneys say stands to make money on the case, according to The Hill. The attorneys noted that the case’s outcome will likely affect political messaging during the 2024 electoral cycle and shape the ways Authentic works with its clients,” the outlet added.

The filing also asks the judge to explain “what appear to be certain political contributions made by [Merchan] to candidate Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign and other political causes so that the defense can assess whether these donations separately warrant [the judge’s] recusal.”

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According to records from the Federal Election Commission, a person named Juan Merchan, who is an employee of the New York court system, made political contributions totaling $35 in 2020. Out of that amount, $15 was donated to President Joe Biden’s campaign, Just the News noted.

“This case before this Court is historic and it is important that the People of the State of New York and this nation have confidence that the jurist who presides over it is impartial. Most respectfully, the foregoing facts compel the conclusion that Your Honor is not and thus should recuse,” insisted the former president’s legal team, the filing stated.

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Last month, a Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump on 34 criminal charges of falsifying business records related to adult film star Stormy Daniels, Trump sent a payment to Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, allegedly to keep Daniels quiet about an affair the two of them had in 2006.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges, and the case is being panned by prominent figures as being weak and politically motivated.

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Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz is among the experts who have expressed skepticism of the legal grounds supporting Bragg’s case, saying he is using “made-up laws” to muster a politically motivated attack.

“Nobody should ever be arrested based on made-up laws or combining a federal and state statute,” Dershowitz told The Epoch Times in an interview in March when news broke that Trump could be criminally charged. “I taught criminal law for 50 years at Harvard, and the one rule was, no creativity is permitted by prosecutors. The law has to be clear.”

“It’s not a righteous prosecution. It’s not a just prosecution. And I think every libertarian, whether you’re conservative, or liberal, should be opposed to it,” he said.

John Bolton — who served as a national security adviser in the Trump administration and has since come out against Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign — appeared on CNN and blasted the charges filed against his ex-boss, former President Trump, saying the indictment was “even weaker than I feared it would be.”

“Speaking as someone who very strongly does not want Donald Trump to get the Republican presidential nomination, I’m extraordinarily distressed by this document,” Bolton said on CNN. “I think this is even weaker than I feared it would be.”

Notorious anti-Trump GOP Sen. Mitt Romney issued a statement saying: “I believe President Trump’s character and conduct make him unfit for office. Even so, I believe the New York prosecutor has stretched to reach felony criminal charges in order to fit a political agenda.”

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