Trump has found a new way to attack judge's daughter in hush-money case despite gag order

microsoft, trump has found a new way to attack judge's daughter in hush-money case despite gag order

Donald Trump in New York. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

  • An expanded hush-money gag bars attacks on the judge’s daughter, a Democratic campaign consultant.
  • On Tuesday, Trump found a way around the gag, attacking the daughter in a legal filing instead.
  • She is “making money” through “campaign advocacy for President Trump’s opponent,” the filing says.

Donald Trump has found a work-around for a newly-expanded gag order that bars him from attacking the Democratic campaign-consultant daughter of his hush-money judge: attacking the daughter through legal filings instead.

Trump himself has refrained from attacking Loren Merchan, daughter of New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, at least since the judge expanded the gag order on Monday night.

But by Tuesday night, Trump’s lawyers took up the attack.

In a new filing, they demanded that the judge recuse himself from the case, which is scheduled to begin jury selection in Manhattan on April 15.

Their proposed reason for recusal? Loren Merchan’s work on behalf of such A-list Democrats as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris creates a conflict of interest for her father the judge, the defense argued.

The daughter, through her left-leaning political consultancy, Authentic Campaigns, is “making money” off of Trump’s legal travails — and her father the judge, they argued, is somehow complicit.

“Authentic has received millions of dollars in disbursements from entities associated with President Trump’s political rivals since the Indictment was returned,” read Tuesday night’s letter to the judge, signed by defense attorneys Susan Necheles and Todd Blanche.

“Some of those funds were paid to Authentic by entities associated with legislators and PACs that have used email and/or social media to solicit contributions specifically based on this case,” the letter continued.

“Thus, there is strong evidence that Authentic has used this case to make money,” the letter argued.

“There is an unacceptable risk that the Court’s family relationships will influence judicial conduct,” the letter concludes.

The letter requests Merchan’s permission to expand on their recusal request by filing “a motion in support of these arguments that includes briefing and evidence on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.”

Loren Merchan has not responded to repeated requests for comment. Manhattan prosecutors have called Trump’s attacks on the judge’s family members “dangerous” and “reprehensible.”

Prosecutors argued Monday that Trump’s personal attacks on people related to the case “threatens the integrity of these proceedings and is intended to intimidate witnesses and trial participants alike — including this Court,” meaning the judge.

On Tuesday night, prosecutors elaborated on that argument in a new filing that noted that back in August, the judge rejected a similar defense request that he recuse himself.

“This Court and the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics have already determined that such a claim provides no basis for recusal,” prosecutors countered on Tuesday night.

The state ethics committee had found in August that, “A relative’s independent political activities do not provide a reasonable basis to question the judge’s impartiality,” prosecutors noted.

The judge did not immediately rule on Tuesday’s request that he entertain this new recusal request, but he has consistently rejected prior defense claims that his daughter’s consultant work presents a conflict of interest.

The judge has also repeatedly warned the defense against frivolous delay tactics — on penalty of finding them in contempt of court.

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