Rep. Stefanik Files Misconduct Complaint Against Judge Juan Merchan

( – New York Republican Representative Elise Stefanik has submitted a misconduct complaint against Judge Juan Merchan, who has been presiding over former President Donald Trump’s Hush Money criminal trial in Manhattan.

Stefanik alleged that the selection of the justice and others dealing with the case was “not random”. The chairwoman of the House Republican Conference demanded an investigation into Merchan to establish whether the selection process was random as is required. She drew attention to the “repeated assignment” of the acting justice and Democratic Party donor to criminal cases involving Trump and his associates.

Stefanik mentioned Merchan’s daughter, who is the president of Authentic Campaigns. The group represents Democratic politicians and political action committees. Authentic Campaigns’ clients include California Representative Adam Schiff, who has raised funds off of the indictment of Trump and his criminal trial. Trump has requested that Merchan excuse himself from the trial because of the connection to his daughter’s work, but the justice dismissed the request, saying there was no need for him to do so.

Stefanik pointed out that Merchan had already been cautioned by the New York State Commission on Judiciary Conduct over “illegal” donations to Biden and the Democratic Party in 2020. She noted that the warning had not deterred the justice’s alleged judicial misconduct, and claimed that Merchan was motivated by “partisanship” and his daughter’s financial gain. If the jury votes to acquit Trump, the trial will end, but if the former president is found guilty the outcome will be in the hands of Merchan, who could sentence Trump to years of jail time.

Stefanik wrote that bias is more likely to appear in “sensitive cases” such as Trump’s. She noted that the circumstances of a former president and presumptive presidential nominee being on trial leading up to the election were unprecedented. Trump’s defense team rested their case without calling on the former president to testify. Trump was reportedly pessimistic outside the courtroom, calling the trial “rigged”, as the 12-person jury deliberated over the evidence.

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