Judge Merchan, to Preside over Trump's Criminal Case, is Openly in Violation of Judiciary Law § 14

Former President Donald Trump's New York criminal hush money trial will start with jury selection on April 15, Judge Juan Merchan said Monday.  Judge Merchan is the acting New York Supreme Court justice to preside over President Trump's arraignment next week and could also oversee his trial.  Note, Supreme Court in New York is technically the court system and this is the beginning of a criminal trial at the trial court level.  Merchan, as an acting judge was handpicked “randomly” for this kangaroo court.

The evidence of bias and corruption coming forth:

As reported by the New York Post, but where story was first reported by Laura Loomer:

Two major Democratic clients of the daughter of the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s hush-money trial have raised at least $93 million in campaign donations and used the case in their solicitation emails raising renewed concerns the jurist has a major conflict of interest.

Trump’s attorneys are now considering filing another motion demanding Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan recuse himself from the trial set to begin April 15, sources said.

The judge’s daughter, Loren Merchan, is president of Authentic Campaigns, a Chicago-based progressive political consulting firm whose top clients include California Rep. Adam Schiff, who was the lead prosecutor in Trump’s first impeachment trial, and the Senate Majority PAC, a major party fundraiser.

Authentic Campaigns, and thus the judge’s daughter, is actively making money from this sham attack against President Trump, rendering Judge Merchan conflicted out,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung told The Post, adding that evidence of bias is even clearer now than it was in August when Merchan rejected Trump’s first recusal motion.

The Violation of Law:

The very recent case Minckler v. D’Ella, Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, 3rd Department (Decided January 4, 2024) provides a clear parallel to Judge Merchan’s situation. In Minckler, the Judge failed to disclose a conflict created by contributions to his judicial campaign.  The Judge then refused to recuse and the Appellate court found that he abused his discretion.  

In President Trump’s case, Judge Merchan’s daughter, president of Authentic Campaigns, raised millions on behalf of Adam Schiff and Senate Majority PAC, which, in combination, so far raised $93,000,000, in large part, by promoting President Trump's indictments.  The Judge failed to disclose the conflict.  Given the extraordinary sum of money, Judge Merchan’s conflict is vastly greater -- it simply cannot be ignored.

Specifically, New York law prohibits a judge from participating in any matter in which the judge is interested or has a familial relationship with any party. New York Judiciary Law § 14. The Law does not require disqualification as a judge's decision on a recusal motion is one of discretion, and when recusal is sought based upon impropriety, the judge is the sole arbiter.  However, that discretion is not unlimited, and judges must still recuse in cases where their impartiality might be reasonably questioned. Judges have an obligation to comport themselves within the bounds of judicial ethics and must avoid the appearance of impropriety at all times.

In the case of Minckler v. D’Ella, plaintiffs learned that defense counsel and his law firm were supporting Justice Muller’s reelection campaign by hosting an upcoming fundraiser for him. Plaintiff’s requested his recusal – he considered and refused. The Appellate court included the Judge’s failure to disclose in the lead of the conclusory paragraph of their opinion:

Although we have no way of knowing Justice Muller's reasons or intentions, it is undisputed that he did not disclose the JCEC letter to the parties until a month after receiving it, when his campaign results became official, and he was elected to a new term of office.  As judges need to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, Justice Muller should have disclosed the JCEC letter upon receipt and recused from the matter as soon as possible (see Rules Governing Jud Conduct [22 NYCRR] §100.3 [E] [1]; Advisory Comm on Jud Ethics Op 03-64 [2003]). Therefore, Justice Muller abused his discretion in denying plaintiffs' motion for recusal.

This appeal that found Judge Muller abused his discretion by failing to recuse occurred just 4 months ago.  Judge Merchan is now facing a far more extraordinary familial conflict of interest as the firm his daughter presides over raised many millions by doing the bidding of Adam Schiff and Senate Majority PAC to attack President Trump over the indictments.  The appearance is that the Judge’s daughter directly earns money by promoting Trump's indictments and we can expect her to attack Trump throughout the trial to raise funds for Adam Schiff and the Senate Majority PAC.  Her father, Judge Merchan, is in the key position to vastly increase the income of his daughter by simply exercising bias against President Trump.

Democrats can’t seem to get out of their own way – they hate President Trump and seek to destroy him, but they can’t deny the temptation of immense wealth; it now repeatedly costs them their goal -- recall the troubles of Fani Willis.

We live in biblical times.

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