Trump Handed Two Legal Losses in Same Day

( – A New York Appellate court ruled against Donald Trump and refused to move his “hush money” case out of Manhattan or force the recusal of Judge Juan Merchan. The court ruled that Trump’s attorneys had not proved that Merchan acted outside his jurisdiction when refusing to recuse himself and had not established that the former President “has a clear right to recusal.”

Mr. Trump’s lawyers sought Merchan’s recusal primarily because his daughter is employed at the consulting firm Authentic Campaigns, which worked on Joe Biden’s election team in 2020. Lawyers wrote to Judge Merchan in April, saying there was an “unacceptable risk” that the Judge’s daughter would influence her father’s handling of the trial.

Judge Merchan previously ruled that he was confident in his ability to remain impartial, and he had consulted with the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics.

Trump’s first criminal trial reached final summations on May 28. If convicted, legal experts say there are several possible outcomes. Mr. Trump will likely be released pending sentencing, and the most probable punishment is a fine or probation, though a prison sentence is possible. Analysts further suggest that Trump’s attorneys will appeal any conviction, potentially prolonging the case for several months.

Legal expert Anna Cominsky of New York Law School said grounds of appeal could center on Stormy Daniels’ testimony, which she speculates may have contained unnecessary detail capable of prejudicing the jury. Daniels, who claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump that he paid her to keep secret, provided many intimate details about their alleged meeting, prompting Judge Merchan to interrupt her and advise that she offer less information.

Trump’s attorneys subsequently called for a mistrial, but Merchan told them it was their job to object during the testimony. He explained that he was surprised they did not do so.

An appeal may also include arguments that the District Attorney’s office over-reached in charging Trump with a felony rather than the simple misdemeanor of falsifying business records.

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