Judge in Trump's hush money trial scolded over political donations

New York, New York - Juan Merchan, the judge presiding over Donald Trump's bombshell hush money trial, received a slap on the wrist from a commission monitoring judicial conduct over donations he made to Democratic PACs.

Juan Merchan (l.), the judge overseeing Donald Trump's hush money trial, was cautioned by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct over donations made to PACs.
Juan Merchan (l.), the judge overseeing Donald Trump's hush money trial, was cautioned by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct over donations made to PACs.  © Collage: REUTERS & IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Merchan reportedly gave $35 in total to Democratic-aligned group ActBlue in 2020, with $15 of that going to the Biden for President campaign and $10 each for Progressive Turnout Project and Stop Republicans.

In response to a complaint made against him, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct investigated Merchan and ended up issuing a caution in July 2023.

The ethics watchdog's 2024 report, released in March, specifically notes the issue of judges donating to political organizations or candidates, which is strictly forbidden.

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"Like so much of the misconduct the Commission encounters," it reads, "making a prohibited political contribution is a self-inflicted mistake, easily avoidable by pausing when solicited, reviewing the Rules, consulting the Commission’s website, or researching the vast volume of advisory opinions."

Merchan has been relentlessly attacked by Trump since the beginning of the trial, in which the ex-president is accused of using campaign funds to hide an alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.

The Republican baselessly insists Merchan is corrupt and acting on behalf of President Joe Biden, while also going after the judge's daughter on social media.

Trump has been fined and threatened with jail for repeatedly breaking a gag order that prevents him from talking about witnesses, prosecutors, court staff, their family members, and jurors.

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS & IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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