On Monday, April 8, 2024, the Washington Examiner reported that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg opposed a request from Donald Trump to have Judge Juan Merchan recuse himself from overseeing the former president’s hush money case.

Trump’s attorneys had argued that Judge Merchan’s daughter, Loren Merchan, works for a Democratic marketing firm called Authentic which has clients such as President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Congressman Schiff – all political opponents of Trump. The attorneys claimed this created an “appearance of impropriety” and meant the judge could not be impartial.

However, DA Bragg filed a response in court claiming Trump’s demand for recusal was simply another attempt to indefinitely delay the legal proceedings against him. The filing stated that Trump’s arguments for recusal were largely the same as in a previous unsuccessful motion last year, and did not provide any new factual information.

Prosecutors pointed to previous case law establishing that a judge’s family member working in an affected industry alone is not grounds for recusal. They said Trump had presented no evidence that Authentic’s income would directly rise or fall depending on the outcome of the criminal case.

The case involves allegations that Trump directed illegal hush money payments during the 2016 presidential election to two women who claimed they had extramarital affairs with him. This is the second time Trump has asked Judge Merchan to recuse himself from overseeing the case, with the first request also denied last year after review by a judicial ethics panel.

While Trump’s attorneys argued Loren Merchan’s firm could gain financially from ads criticizing Trump during the legal process, DA Bragg contends the recusal bid is just the latest tactic used to delay bringing the former president to trial. The filing urged Judge Merchan to reject the recusal demand.



Source: Washington Examiner