• May 29, 2024

Trump Sues Corrupt NYC Judge after Gag-Order Overreach, Seeks Change of Venue

(Brett Rowland, The Center Square) Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Monday against the state judge overseeing his hush-money case in New York less than a week before jury selection is to begin.

A state appellate court docket indicated the former president filed suit against New York Justice Juan Merchan. The documents remained under seal.

Nonetheless, it was likely that the lawsuit related to the public scandal that arose over Merchan’s decision to impose a gag order on Trump last week for criticizing the fact that Merchan’s daughter was a well-paid Democrat operative who had run campaigns promoting Trump’s conviction.

Merchan, who previously donated to the Biden campaign in the 2020 run against Trump, insisted that his daughter’s conflict of interest would not taint his own judgement, although the gag order suggests otherwise.

New York legal ethics laws generally prohibit a judge who has any family connection who stands to gain financially from the outcome.

Jury selection in the lawfare case, being waged by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, could begin April 15, setting the stage for the first of Trump’s four criminal trials to begin ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

It wasn’t immediately clear Monday how Trump’s latest legal move could affect the timing of the pending criminal case, which was already delayed once after U.S. Attorney’s office revealed a trove of  previously unknown documents. That may include exculpatory information, such as previous letters written by porn star Stormy Daniels that unequivocally denied having any prior sexual relationship with Trump.

Merchan previously rejected Trump’s request for a longer delay after the last-minute document dump.

In a separate filing with the appeals court Monday, Trump was expected to seek a change of venue to move the trial outside Manhattan. That action also remained under seal.

Trump pleaded not guilty in April 2023 to 34 felony counts related to charges he paid off Daniels through a lawyer before the 2016 presidential election and covered it up as a legal expense before being elected president.

Trump faces 88 felony charges spread across four cases in Florida, Georgia, New York and Washington.

In a federal case in Florida, Trump has pleaded not guilty to 40 felony counts that allege he kept sensitive military documents, shared them with people who didn’t have security clearance and tried to get around the government’s attempts to get them back.

In Georgia, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump and 18 others, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former state Republican Party Chairman David Shafer, on charges they tried to overturn the state results of the 2020 presidential election. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

In Washington, special counsel Jack Smith’s team of federal prosecutors charged Trump with four federal counts related to contesting the 2020 election and the storming of the U.S. Capitol building Jan. 6, 2021.

The charges are conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction, and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted, according to the indictment. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Source

The Daily Allegiant