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Trump ally files complaint about judge who criticized Trump’s attacks on the judiciary

By Sarah N. Lynch and Nate Raymond

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A conservative ally of Donald Trump filed a complaint Tuesday against a U.S. federal judge who, in a rare television interview, criticized the former president’s verbal attacks on the New York judge overseeing Trump’s upcoming criminal trial.

Mike Davis, founder of the conservative legal advocacy group Article III Project, said he feared that U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton’s criticism of Trump on CNN last week could reduce jury pools for the Republican presidential candidate’s four criminal cases in New York, Washington, D.C. can affect. , Florida and Georgia.

“A federal judge has no right to appear on a nationally televised program – viewed by prospective jurors – and criticize a criminal defendant for lawfully exercising his constitutional right to criticize an ongoing criminal proceeding,” wrote Davis in a complaint to the Judicial Council. of the District of Columbia Circuit.

“Judge Walton should not have appeared, and we respectfully urge you to investigate and remedy this ethical violation,” he added.

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Walton, reached through a legal assistant, declined to comment Tuesday.

Walton, a senior federal judge based in Washington, D.C. appointed by Republican former President George W. Bush, called Trump’s comments about New York Judge Juan Merchan “disturbing” in a March 28 CNN interview.

He said it was “particularly problematic” that Trump had targeted Merchan’s daughter, and said he is concerned about the increased number of threats judges have faced in recent years.

Trump has verbally attacked Merchan and his daughter on social media, prompting a New York judge to order him on Monday to stop attacking family members of everyone involved in the trial.

Walton noted that he himself has received numerous threats after leading cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

Walton is not presiding over the criminal case against Trump in Washington over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

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(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington and Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot)

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