Judge Juan Merchan in New York, who is assigned to preside over former President Donald Trump's hush money trial, has announced that he will not recuse himself from the case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. This case deals with alleged improper payments made to Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election.
In a court filing dated August 11 and released on Monday, Judge Merchan acknowledged the importance of balancing the promotion of public confidence in the judiciary with considerations of impartiality. He stated that a trial judge must carefully weigh these factors against the possibility that parties questioning his impartiality may simply be seeking to avoid adverse consequences.
After thoroughly considering these factors in the context of Trump's case, Judge Merchan determined that recusal would not be in the public interest. He examined his conscience and concluded that he is certain in his ability to be fair and impartial.
As a result, Trump's motion for Judge Merchan to recuse himself was denied on all grounds. Trump's legal team will now have to present their case at a trial overseen by Judge Merchan.
This motion from the Trump Team arose following revelations that Judge Merchan had made financial contributions to Democrat political causes. However, in the court filing, Judge Merchan emphasized that these contributions were minimal and did not warrant recusal.
He stated that such contributions do not raise a plausible concern regarding the appearance of impartiality. The judge also pointed out that identifying with a political party does not indicate an inability to act impartially. In summary, Judge Merchan carefully considered the request for recusal, examined his own biases, and determined that there were none to report.
Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, which is a legal strategy contested by his legal team as resembling the dubious grounds of the Russia collusion hoax. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintains his innocence.