On Monday, May 20, 2024, the Daily Caller reported that prominent legal scholar Jonathan Turley questioned the impartiality of Judge Juan Merchan, who was presiding over former president Donald Trump’s ongoing business records trial.

Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, expressed concern on Fox News about Judge Merchan’s political donations in 2020 that showed support for President Biden and other democratic causes. Merchan had contributed $15 to Biden’s election campaign that year, as well as $10 each to groups called “Stop Republicans” and the “Progressive Turnout Project.”

While acknowledging the amounts were small, Turley argued any political donation created an appearance of bias and that judges should not make such contributions at all. He said Merchan’s donations in 2020 clearly violated ethics rules, regardless of the amounts.

In addition, Turley noted that Merchan was not randomly assigned to oversee the Trump case but was personally selected for the role, despite his daughter working for a firm involved in raising funds from Trump’s legal issues. This raised questions about the impartiality and perception of fairness in the handling of the high-profile trial.

Turley stated there were many other judges without such apparent conflicts of interest who could have judged the case instead. He characterized the situation as “troubling to those who view this as the weaponization of the system.”



Source: Daily Caller