Trump Demands Removal of Judges Ahead of Gag Order Ruling in Hush Money Case

Former President Trump urges dismissal of judges in his legal cases, faces potential gag order violations, raising concerns about his respect for the legal process.

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Trump Demands Removal of Judges Ahead of Gag Order Ruling in Hush Money Case

Trump Demands Removal of Judges Ahead of Gag Order Ruling in Hush Money Case

Former President Donald Trump has urged the dismissal of several judges involved in his legal cases, just before a decision is expected on a gag order violation in his New York hush money case. Trump specifically targeted Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the hush money case, as well as Judges Arthur Engoron and Lewis Kaplan, who were involved in other cases against him.

Trump accused the judges of being "rigged" and "corrupt," claiming they were working for the Democratic Party. His lawyer has argued that Trump was merely responding to political attacks. However, prosecutors contend that Trump has breached Merchan's gag order 10 times, which prevents him from attacking prosecutors, court staff, witnesses, and the judge's family. They are seeking a $1,000 fine for each violation.

Judge Merchan said he would reserve his decision on the alleged gag order violations, but noted that Trump's lawyer was losing credibility after claiming Trump was "being very careful" not to infringe upon the order. This is not the first time Trump has been accused of deliberately trying to stir up controversy during a trial, as he faced similar allegations in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case.

Why this matters: The criminal prosecution of a former U.S. president is unprecedented, and Trump's behavior surrounding the trial has raised concerns about his respect for the legal process and potential interference with the case. The outcome of the gag order violation ruling could impact Trump's ability to publicly comment on the trial and his 2024 presidential campaign.

Trump's lawyers have urged Judge Merchan to recuse himself from the case, alleging bias and a conflict of interest because Merchan's daughter is a Democratic political consultant. However, the judge has not yet ruled on this request or the contempt charges. The hush money trial, which revolves around payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election, is expected to last about six weeks. Trump has called it a political "hit job" and demanded that the Appellate Courts take over.

Key Takeaways

  • Trump urges dismissal of judges in his legal cases, alleging bias.
  • Prosecutors seek $1,000 fine for each of Trump's 10 gag order violations.
  • Judge Merchan to rule on gag order violations, as Trump's lawyer loses credibility.
  • Trump's lawyers request Merchan's recusal, alleging bias and conflict of interest.
  • Hush money trial expected to last 6 weeks, Trump calls it a political "hit job".