Donald Trump Suffers Huge Setback As He Loses Two Court Battles In One Day

by Jessica
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Trump

 

According to a report by Law and Crime on Thursday, May 23, 2024, former President Donald Trump suffered two significant legal setbacks on Thursday as the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, delivered rulings against him on critical issues related to his hush-money trial.

These rulings addressed Trump’s concerns about the trial’s venue and the presiding judge’s impartiality. In a decisive ruling, the appellate court denied Trump’s request to move the trial out of Manhattan to other counties he deemed less liberal and less influenced by media coverage.

Trump had suggested alternative venues such as Suffolk County, Orange County, Richmond County, or Rockland County. The court’s brief statement on the matter read, “Now, upon reading and filing the papers with respect to the motion, and due deliberation having been had thereon, it is ordered that the motion is denied.”

The second, more detailed ruling, also went against Trump, addressing his request to have Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan recuse himself. Trump’s defense had argued that Merchan’s impartiality was compromised due to his daughter, Loren Merchan, having worked in political consulting for Democratic clients.

The defense pointed to Trump’s social media posts, which included Loren Merchan’s name and photo, as legitimate criticisms highlighting the judge’s potential conflict of interest. Trump’s legal team contended, “President Trump’s social media posts amplified defense arguments regarding the need for recusal that has been and will continue to be, the subject of motion practice.

The posts also addressed specific political opponents who are clients of Authentic, where Your Honor’s daughter is a partner and executive, and executive, and responded to media reports regarding a social media account attributed to Your Honor’s daughter.”

Despite these claims, the appellate court upheld Judge Merchan’s decision to stay on the case, dismissing Trump’s Article 78 lawsuit as “time-barred” and lacking sufficient evidence to show that Merchan abused his discretion.

The court’s ruling stated, “The petition was also filed prior to the court’s subsequent order denying his second motion seeking recusal, and thus, any challenge to the subsequent order was not ripe at the time of filing.

In any event, the petitioner has failed to establish that the court acted in excess of its jurisdiction by denying his motion.” The court further clarified that Trump had not demonstrated a clear right to Merchant’s recusal under state law. Should Trump wish to revisit these arguments, he would need to do so through a direct appeal if he is convicted.

The court noted, “Granting the appellate relief Trump sought would only interfere with the normal trial and appellate procedures, and, without opining on the merits, the matters herein identified by petitioner may be raised in a direct appeal.”

Trump’s defense concluded their case earlier this week without calling him to testify, despite his previous assertions that he “would testify, absolutely.” Judge Merchan addressed a misconception propagated by Trump regarding the gag order in the case.

Trump had claimed the gag order prevented him from testifying, but Merchan clarified that this was not true. “I want to stress to Mr. Trump: You have an absolute right to testify at trial,” Merchan emphasized. Ultimately, Trump chose to waive his right to testify, citing the judge’s rulings that he believed complicated his ability to take the stand.

Trump stated, “Anything I did, anything I did in the past, they can bring everything up, and you know what, I’ve had a great past—but anything,” explaining his decision amidst his claim that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office “has no case.”

 

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