Wednesday, June 19, 2024
HomeTop StoriesJudge in Trump porn star hush money case won't step aside

Judge in Trump porn star hush money case won’t step aside

Published on

Latest articles

Kotak Mahindra shares rise 4% on RBI nod to Zurich Insurance buying 70% in Kotak General

Kotak Mahindra shares rise 4% on RBI nod to Zurich Insurance buying 70% in...

Vodafone Idea shares zoom 14% today; key technical levels to watch out for

Vodafone Idea shares zoom 14% today; key technical levels to watch out for Vodafone Idea...

Nadeem Amin is the New President for Netstal Americas

Nadeem Amin is the New President for Netstal Americas Netstal appoints Nadeem Amin as its...

SCREEN Launches High-Density SU Ink For Uncoated Papers Used By Truepress JET 520HD Mono

SCREEN Launches High-Density SU Ink For Uncoated Papers Used By Truepress JET 520HD Mono It...


In this courtroom sketch, former U.S. president Donald Trump appears by video conferencing before Judge Juan Merchan during a hearing before his trial over charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York City, May 23, 2023.

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

The New York judge set to preside over the porn star hush money trial of Donald Trump refused on Monday to step off the case, saying he is certain he can be “fair and impartial” to the former president.

Judge Juan Merchan said he had “carefully weighed” the legal standards for recusing himself after Trump cited the judge’s purported conflicts of interest.

The judge wrote that he “finds that recusal would not be in the public interest.”

In the five-page decision, Merchan directly quoted a federal appeals court ruling that urges judges to balance a policy of promoting public confidence in the court system against the chance that people questioning a judge’s impartiality were just trying to avoid “adverse consequences.”

Trump had asked for Merchan to step off the case in Manhattan Supreme Court, where his trial is set to begin in late March, citing three different areas of potential conflicts of interest.

CNBC Politics

Read more of CNBC’s politics coverage:

The Republican presidential candidate is charged there with multiple counts of falsifying business records related to a $130,000 hush money payment Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual tryst with Trump.

Although Trump denies having sex with Daniels, he and his company, the Trump Organization, reimbursed Cohen for the payment and gave him extra money in connection with it as well.

Trump’s lawyers argued that Merchan’s daughter presented him with a conflict of interest because she is head of a digital marketing company that works with Democratic candidates.

They also cited Merchan’s role in a separate criminal case involving Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of Trump’s company, and the judge’s contributions of $35 to Democrats in 2020, of which $15 went to the campaign of President Joe Biden, who defeated Trump that year.

On the issue of his daughter’s employment, Merchan noted that in May, the New York State Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics issued an opinion that said the case does not involve either Merchan’s daughter or her business, directly or indirectly.

“They are not parties or likely witnesses in the matter, and none of the parties or counsel before the judge are clients in the business,” the committee’s opinion said.

“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.”

Merchan noted that the Trump Organization had previously unsuccessfully sought to recuse him from presiding over its own criminal case on the same grounds that Trump himself used in his case: the judge’s purported “inappropriate conduct in the plea negotiations of” Weisselberg.

“That the identical grounds are now raised on behalf of a different defendant, on an entirely different indictment, only serve to weaken the plausibility of the claim,” Merchan wrote in his decision Monday.

Regarding the question of his political contributions, Merchan noted that the state advisory committee had written that “these modest political contributions made more than two years ago cannot reasonably create an impression or bias or favoritism in the case before the judge.”

“This Court has examined its conscience and is certain in its ability to be fair and impartial,” Merchan wrote. “Defendant’s motion for recusal and for an explanation is Denied on all grounds,” the order states.

Merchan cited a 1988 New York federal appeals court decision related to judicial recusal.

“The judge presiding over a case is in the best position to appreciate the implications of those matters alleged in a recusal motion,” that ruling in the case known as In Re Drexel Burnham Lambert says.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting Trump, opposed the recusal request on the grounds that the “Defendant presents no arguments that fairly raise any actual or perceived conflict of interest or preconceived bias.”



Source link

More like this

Kotak Mahindra shares rise 4% on RBI nod to Zurich Insurance buying 70% in Kotak General

Kotak Mahindra shares rise 4% on RBI nod to Zurich Insurance buying 70% in...

Vodafone Idea shares zoom 14% today; key technical levels to watch out for

Vodafone Idea shares zoom 14% today; key technical levels to watch out for Vodafone Idea...

Nadeem Amin is the New President for Netstal Americas

Nadeem Amin is the New President for Netstal Americas Netstal appoints Nadeem Amin as its...