Court denies Trump’s motion seeking recusal of judge

A court in New York has rejected a motion by former US President Donald Trump’s legal team demanding that Judge Juan Merchan recuse himself in the case of forgery of financial documents of the Trump Organization.

“With the discussion of this motion the hearings began. Judge Merchan rejected it because there are no grounds for it,” the court explained.

At the same time, the judge also said that Trump “made attacks on him on social media.”

Donald Trump arrived at the court about half an hour before the start of the hearing. Near the building he was met by supporters and those who do not support his policies.

Earlier, the court in New York again rejected the petition of Trump’s representatives, who asked to postpone the start of consideration of the case on the merits until the decision of the Supreme Court on the presence of the former head of the American administration of immunity from legal prosecution. The trial is scheduled to begin on April 15.

The reason for the investigation of the case was the publication of The Wall Street Journal in January 2018. According to the newspaper, a month before Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, his lawyer Michael Cohen paid porn actress Stormy Daniels (real name – Stephanie Clifford) $130 thousand to not spread information about the connection with Trump in 2006-2007.

In 2018, Michael Cohen went to trial on several charges, one of which was for violating Trump’s campaign finance rules, specifically payments to Stormy Daniels. At the time, prosecutors did not pursue charges against Trump, citing immunity for the head of state. However, in November 2022, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office launched a new investigation. According to the investigation, Trump reimbursed his lawyer for the money spent, formalizing it through the Trump Organization as a payment for legal fees, citing a non-existent legal advance. On April 4, 2023, a court in Manhattan filed criminal charges against Trump over the Stormy Daniels payments. Thus, Trump became the first ex-president in US history to be charged with a criminal offense.

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