On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, the National Review reported that Congresswoman Elise Stefanik had filed a misconduct complaint over the assignment of Judge Juan Merchan to Trump’s “hush-money” criminal trial and other cases connected to Trump.

Stefanik, a Republican representative from New York, expressed concerns in the complaint about the probability of one judge being randomly assigned to three separate yet linked criminal cases involving Trump. The complaint, filed with the New York State Unified Court System, noted that the chances of such an outcome occurring by chance alone would be extremely small.

Stefanik questioned whether Judge Merchan’s assignments had been intentionally made to increase the likelihood of convictions against Trump, his organization, and prominent ally Steve Bannon. All three men were facing criminal charges, which Merchan had been tasked with presiding over.

In the complaint, Stefanik called for the court system’s inspector general and the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct to launch investigations into how Merchan’s role in the cases had been assigned. Previously, Stefanik had filed an ethics complaint against Merchan citing his campaign donation to now-President Joe Biden as well as his daughter’s career as a Democratic strategist.

The article provided context that Merchan was currently presiding over the jury deliberations in Trump’s Manhattan trial, where he faces accusations of falsifying business records relating to payments made to his former lawyer Michael Cohen. If convicted, prosecutors argue this could conceal federal campaign finance crimes, despite such charges not having been pursued against Trump directly.

The piece also noted Merchan had imposed a gag order on Trump, barring criticism of his daughter during the proceedings. It concluded by referencing Trump’s attacks against Merchan and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, characterizing their actions as politically motivated to hinder his potential 2024 presidential run, an assessment that has been echoed by some of Trump’s allies.



Source: National Review