Hush money judge rejects new recusal request

by | Apr 15, 2024

Rick Kopstein/Judicial headshot

Justice Juan Merchan, presiding over President Trump's hush money trial, has declined to recuse himself based on Trump's request centered on his daughter's employment at a firm that serves prominent Democrats and shows clear conflict of interest.

This denial, issued from the bench on the trial's first day, removes a potential eleventh-hour complication before jury selection commences. Justice Merchan dismissed the motion, stating that it relied on “a series of references, innuendos, and unsupported speculation.”

Trump's recent attempt targeted Justice Merchan's daughter due to her employment at Authentic, a progressive digital agency known for serving clients such as the Biden-Harris campaign and other prominent Democrats.

Trump's legal team pointed out that Authentic's clients, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), have used language in their digital marketing explicitly fundraising off Trump's legal challenges.

While leading an impeachment effort against Trump, Adam Schiff’s campaign also paid a $600,000 fee to Authentic, Judge Merchan’s daughter’s firm.

Federal Election Commission reports reveal that Schiff’s campaign committee disbursed over $3.7 million to Authentic Campaigns, Loren Merchan’s firm, for digital media acquisitions from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020.

Source: The Hill

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