top of page
Download my
listen on the go.

Trump’s Lawyers Seek Recusal of Judge in NY Criminal Case

Trump in NY

Former President Donald Trump arrives for an arraignment hearing at NYS Supreme Court, in New York, on April 4, 2023. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

By Janice Hisle

We gather the news that is the most important to you. As the most reliable and balanced news service on the internet, Unite America First offers the following information published by The Epoch Times:

Merchan’s daughter “stands to significantly financially benefit from a decision her father may make because of her direct efforts with Joe Biden’s campaign,” according to the statement, which did not elaborate. President Joe Biden is the frontrunner for the Democrats’ nomination for the 2024 presidential election; Trump is currently leading a Republican field of contenders to challenge Biden’s reelection bid.

Court spokesman Lucian Chalfen told The Epoch Times in an email that criminal filings in the Manhattan court may be viewed only in person, not online, and, “As this is a pending matter before Judge Merchan, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

The Epoch Times is attempting to obtain the motion, which the Trump campaign says will outline the judge’s conduct in a previous case.

UAF Merch

“He pushed former Trump Organization CFO, Alan Weisselberg, to cooperate against the Trump Corporation and President Trump,” the Trump spokesperson said.

Further, Merchan also “apparently made political contributions to Joe Biden and to causes such as ‘Stop Republicans,'” the statement asserts.

“This case has no factual or legal merit, having been brought by a District Attorney who ran on a platform of ‘Get Trump,’” the Trump spokesperson said, concluding: “An impartial judge is vital to stop this travesty of justice.”

Wrong Court?

Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers are seeking to transfer the state case to a federal court. They say the case belongs in federal court because some of the allegations involve actions that occurred in 2017, Trump’s first year as president. In addition, they say the case revolves around alleged violations of federal election law, raising “important federal questions.”

The case stems from a so-called $130,000 “hush money” payment made by Michael Cohen, then a Trump lawyer, to keep an alleged sex scandal quiet during the 2016 election campaign.

In the criminal case, Trump is accused of creating false business records to conceal that he was reimbursing Cohen for the payment made to Stephanie Clifford, also known as adult film star Stormy Daniels. Clifford claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006. He denies the allegation.


Michael Cohen, former attorney to Donald Trump, speaks to the media before departing his

Manhattan apartment for prison on May 06, 2019. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Cohen pleaded guilty to several federal crimes, including making illegal campaign contributions.

But a former FEC chairman, Bradley Smith, previously told The Epoch Times that, despite Cohen’s plea, the Cohen-Clifford payment would not constitute a campaign contribution, based on his understanding of campaign finance law. Such payments are legal as part of nondisclosure agreements that many famous people use to protect their reputations.

Trump also has asserted that the Cohen payment was legal. In August 2018, Trump wrote on Twitter: “Michael Cohen [pleaded] guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime.” In addition, Trump recently sued Cohen, seeking $500 million in damages, alleging he breached his duties as his attorney and spread false, damaging information about him.

Lanny Davis, a lawyer representing Cohen, accused Trump of using the judicial system as “harassment and intimidation” against Cohen, a key witness in the New York case against Trump.


mammoth nation


Not a ‘Federal Officer’

District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office argues that the hush-money criminal case belongs in state court.

Trump’s “alleged criminal conduct had no connection to his official duties and responsibilities as President but instead arose from his unofficial actions relating to his private businesses and pre-election conduct,” Bragg wrote in a May 30 filing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Bragg, who has been accused of singling out Trump unfairly, wrote in his latest filing: “No other President has falsified the business records of his private enterprises while in office as part of an unlawful scheme to pay off an adult film actress during the election, concealing election law, tax law, and honest book-keeping crimes along the way. The unusual facts are thus of defendant’s making, not evidence of selective prosecution.”

Bragg also argues that Trump is not considered “an officer of the United States” who would be entitled to have the state case transferred to a federal court. The U.S. Supreme Court has generally excluded elected leaders, such as the president and vice president, from being classified as federal “officers,” Bragg said.

A hearing on whether to move the case to federal court is set for June 27 before U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

If the case proceeds in state court, the next hearing is scheduled on Jan. 4, 2024. Merchan set a trial date for March 25, 2024, in the thick of the primary election season. The judge advised Trump to cancel all commitments to accommodate a trial that could span several weeks.


Recent Posts

bottom of page