Is this the man Trump is going to try? Judge who oversaw the Trump Organization fraud case arrives at court
Is this the man Trump is going to try? Judge who oversaw Trump Organization fraud case ‘arrives at NYC court to read indictment, flanked by uniformed court officials’
- Judge Juan Merchan – who oversaw the fraud case against the Trump Organization – is expected to try the former president
- Merchan was seen near the Manhattan courthouse shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday
- It came just hours after a grand jury voted to indict Trump over hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016
The judge who oversaw last year’s fraud case against the Trump Organization is expected to try the former president over hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Judge Juan Merchan was seen at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday — just hours after a grand jury voted to indict Trump.
Merchan was said to be dressed casually in gray sweatpants, a baseball cap and a blue puffy jacket while flanked by two uniformed court officers.
The judge oversaw the trial of two of Trump’s companies for tax fraud last year.
Both companies were found guilty by a jury and fined $1.6 million as punishment.
Judge Juan Merchan is expected to try Trump over hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016
Trump has lashed out at his indictment, which he says is part of a “witch hunt” masterminded by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg
During the trial, Merchan repeatedly scorned the company’s legal team, even raising his voice.
At one point he chided lawyers for submitting evidence too late – something he called “inconsiderate to say the least.”
Multiple sources told CNN Thursday evening that Trump will be indicted next Tuesday and that Merchan will be overseeing the case.
The allegations against Trump center around a $130,000 hush money payment made by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, to Daniels, 44, during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The former president has always denied having an affair with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
But the case dogged him throughout his tenure after he launched a federal investigation.
Although the Justice Department decided not to charge Trump and the Federal Election Commission was locked in for taking action over claims that the payment amounted to an undeclared campaign contribution, the Manhattan DA was still reviewing the case.
Merchan oversaw the trial of two of Trump’s companies for tax fraud last year. An outline of the court shows him re-reading the counts in the indictment on Dec. 6, 2022
During the trial, Merchan repeatedly scorned the company’s legal team, even raising his voice
And it gained new momentum in early 2023 when Cohen met with investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office and found that a grand jury was hearing evidence.
Such hearings are held in secret. But one theory was that it was investigating Trump for falsifying company records related to the payment, allegedly misreporting a campaign donation as legal fees.
That amounts to a crime. But that leads to a felony if done in conjunction with a second crime, such as a campaign finance violation
On Saturday, March 18, Trump famously said he would be arrested the following Tuesday by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office.
However, no arrests were made and the case had fallen silent in recent weeks.
Trump responded to news of the indictment with a furious statement calling it “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.”
“I believe this witch hunt will backfire enormously on Joe Biden,” he said.
“The American people know exactly what the radical left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it.
A Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict former President Donald Trump over hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels
Trump denounced the charges in an emailed statement. He said this ‘Witch Hunt will backfire enormously on Joe Biden’ and predicted that Democrats will be voted out of office
“So our movement and our party – united and strong – will first defeat Alvin Bragg and then we will defeat Joe Biden and we are going to unseat every last one of these crooked Democrats so we can make America great again.”
And he was offered partial shelter by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who promised to thwart Trump’s extradition from his state to New York.