Lawyers for Donald Trump say the New York judge overseeing the former president’s trial on business fraud charges has conflicts of interest and should recuse himself.
Trump attorneys Susan Necheles and Todd Blanche have drafted a statement saying Judge Juan Merchan “apparently made” donations to Democrats, according to The Washington Post, which received details of the forthcoming motion.
“President Trump, like all Americans, is entitled under the Constitution to an impartial judge and legal process,” the lawyers wrote.
Mr. Trump faces a 34-count indictment that accuses him of falsifying business records related to hush payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels on the cusp of the 2016 election. Ms. Daniels claims she had a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, which the ex-president denies.
Judge Merchan recently set a trial date for March, which upset Mr. Trump because it will be in the middle of the primary election season.
Mr. Trump’s attorneys also plan to argue that Judge Merchan is conflicted because he handled a tax case against the Trump Organization that included testimony from company executive Allen Weiselberg after he secured a plea deal.
Judge Merchan also is overseeing the state case against former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon.
Mr. Trump pardoned Mr. Bannon in the federal case, which alleged that Mr. Bannon siphoned money from a fundraising program to build the wall on the southern border, but state prosecutors picked up the case.
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