Trump attempts last ditch effort to recuse hush money judge

New York, New York - Days before his trial is set to begin, Donald Trump and his legal team are trying one last Hail Mary attempt to get the judge removed from the hush money case.

On Friday, Donald Trump and his attorneys filed a motion demanding the judge overseeing his hush money case recuse himself days before the trial's start.
On Friday, Donald Trump and his attorneys filed a motion demanding the judge overseeing his hush money case recuse himself days before the trial's start.  © Brendan Smialowski / AFP

On Friday, Trump attorneys submitted a 37-page motion, arguing that Judge Juan Merchan's daughter "benefits financially and reputationally" from the trial "interfering" with their client's presidential campaign.

"Personal political views may not be a basis for recusal. But profiting from the promotion of a political agenda that is hostile to President Trump, and has included fundraising solicitations based on this case, must be," the filing states.

"Accordingly, President Trump respectfully requests that the Court recuse itself."

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The motion comes after Judge Merchan hit Trump with a gag order last week prohibiting him from attacking witnesses and court staff. The order was expanded earlier this week after Trump repeatedly attacked and doxxed Merchan's daughter on his Truth Social platform.

Trump, who is facing criminal charges for allegedly making pre-election hush money payments to a porn star in an effort to cover up an affair, has tried repeatedly to get the case delayed or dismissed, to no avail.

Most recently, Judge Merchan rejected Trump's claim that he had presidential immunity when he committed his alleged crimes.

Is there any merit to Donald Trump's claims about the judge's daughter?

According to ABC News, the New York State Judicial Ethics Advisory Board reviewed Judge Merchan for any type of conflicts of interest in May 2023, and found none.

"We see nothing in the inquiry to suggest that the outcome of the case could have any effect on the judge's relative, the relative's business, or any of their interests," the committee said at the time.

The trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on April 15, unless Judge Merchan grants Trump's request and steps down.

Cover photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP

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