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Trump Lawyers Push Judge to Recuse Over Daughter’s Consulting Work

Donald Trump’s lawyers are once again demanding the recusal of the judge in his historic New York criminal trial, after the judge moved to block the former president from continuing to attack his daughter.

As Rolling Stone reported Monday, one source who has recently spoken to Trump about the upcoming criminal trial says that Trump’s attacks on the judge’s daughter have been about showing “he’s not afraid of these people, simple as that.”

That was before Judge Juan Merchan expanded his gag order in the case to expressly cover his own family members. As part of his new order, the judge wrote Monday night that Trump had “made several extrajudicial statements attacking a family member of this court,” adding that his “pattern of attacking family members of presiding jurists and attorneys assigned to his cases serves no legitimate purpose.”

In one such instance, Trump slammed Merchan’s daughter over an apparent social media hoax. Since then, the presumptive 2024 Republican nominee and his legal team have honed in on her Democratic consulting work — arguing it represents a conflict of interest and a basis for the judge to recuse for himself.

Merchan’s daughter has served as an executive at the digital consulting firm Authentic Campaigns. Over the weekend, the New York Post reported that the firm has worked with two clients — Adam Schiff’s Senate campaign and Senate Democrats’ primary super PAC, the Senate Majority PAC — that have mentioned Trump’s indictment in some fundraising emails.

In a filing written Monday and released on Tuesday, Trump’s lawyers asked Merchan for permission to file a motion on Wednesday formally requesting his recusal.

“It can no longer be ignored that Authentic’s commercial interests are benefitted by developments in this case that harm [former] President Trump’s penal interests and divert his efforts from running his leading campaign for the presidency by requiring him to prepare and sit for trial during the general election,” Trump’s lawyers wrote, adding that “there is an unacceptable risk that the court’s family relationships will influence judicial conduct.”

The New York criminal case revolves around payments, including to porn star Stormy Daniels, that prosecutors allege Trump ordered to be paid out in order to suppress potentially embarrassing news stories and thus boost his 2016 presidential campaign. The trial in the case is set to start on April 15.

After Merchan expanded the gag order, Trump complained on Truth Social that a “corrupt New York Judge, Juan Merchan, GAGGED me so that I can not talk about the corruption and conflicts taking place in his courtroom.”

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