Trump Enrages His Hush Money Judge

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Former President Donald Trump is employing various tactics to delay his first criminal trial, but Judge Juan Merchan of New York appears to be losing patience with these efforts. Recently, Judge Merchan rejected a motion to dismiss the hush money case on grounds of alleged discovery violations and issued a gag order against Trump, even warning his attorneys of potential criminal contempt charges, all through separate court rulings.

The tension between Trump’s legal team and Judge Merchan was evident in court and in written submissions, with the judge accusing Trump’s lawyers of trying to bypass court orders and questioning their evidence, or lack thereof. This situation has left Trump’s legal team with diminishing options to defer the trial set for April 15, despite their ongoing efforts and the judge’s apparent frustration.

In a ruling, Judge Merchan highlighted the defense’s stated aim to delay the proceedings, possibly beyond the 2024 presidential election. Trump entered the courtroom on Monday, hoping for a significant postponement or case dismissal after receiving a substantial number of new documents from the federal prosecutors. While the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, led by Alvin Bragg, agreed to a 30-day delay, Judge Merchan only allowed a three-week extension.

During the proceedings, Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, faced criticism from Judge Merchan for lacking substantial evidence to support claims of prosecutorial misconduct. Trump, who was mostly silent, showed a brief moment of relief when informed of a reduction in his bond for a separate civil fraud case. However, this relief was short-lived as Judge Merchan maintained the April trial start date, visibly upsetting Trump.

Trump’s legal team is seeking to postpone the trial until the Supreme Court decides on a presidential immunity defense in another case and citing “prejudicial pretrial publicity.” Judge Merchan has yet to decide on these motions but has expressed growing irritation with the defense’s tactics, including their filing of last-minute motions and disrespect for court processes.

Despite implementing a gag order to limit Trump’s public statements about the trial participants, Merchan has faced continued attacks from Trump, who has not held back in criticizing the judge and the legal process, framing it as politically motivated. Trump’s commentary outside the courtroom continues, as he calls for Merchan’s recusal, deeming the proceedings a politically charged witch hunt and vowing to combat these “Hoaxes” to restore America’s greatness.

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