HomePoliticsTrump again asks for judge's recusal in hush-money criminal case

Trump again asks for judge’s recusal in hush-money criminal case

By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) –Donald Trump is again trying to have the judge overseeing his April 15 criminal trial in New York removed from the case, arguing that the judge’s daughter’s work for a political consulting firm with Democratic clients poses a conflict of interest.

The Republican presidential candidate made a similar request last year for Judge Juan Merchan to recuse himself, but the judge denied the bid after an ethics panel determined his daughter’s work did not raise reasonable questions about his impartiality.

In a one-page court filing dated April 1 and made public on Tuesday, the former president’s lawyers asked Merchan for permission to file a formal request asking him to recuse himself, arguing that the lawsuit would be financially would benefit his daughter’s firm, Authentic Campaigns.

“It can no longer be ignored that Authentic’s commercial interests benefit from developments in this case,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

Neither Authentic nor a spokesperson for the New York State Office of Court Administration immediately responded to requests for comment.

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Prosecutors from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, who indicted Trump last year, urged Merchan not to grant Trump’s request.

“There is simply nothing new here that would change this Court’s prior conclusion that nothing about this proceeding will directly benefit Authentic or the Court’s family member, let alone this Court,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing. Tuesday’s report.

Trump is seeking to delay trials in the four criminal cases he faces until after his expected Nov. 5 rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden. He has pleaded not guilty in all cases.

No American president has ever faced a criminal trial.

In the New York case, Trump faces 34 charges of falsifying business records to cover up his former lawyer Michael Cohen’s $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels over her silence before the 2016 election about a sexual encounter they had. he said he had with Trump.

Trump denies any meeting with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

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On Monday, Merchan expanded a silence order that limited Trump’s speech about witnesses, court staff and prosecutors to include family members of trial participants.

Trump disparaged Merchan’s daughter online last week, calling her a “rabid Trump hater.”

His lawyers have said the gag order violates his right to free speech, which is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York, editing by Chris Reese and Bill Berkrot)

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