Trump Sues Judge Presiding Over Hush Money Case

One week before his trial related to allegations that he made payouts to keep an affair hidden, former president and presumptive GOP candidate Donald Trump has sued the presiding judge.

Trump’s move comes as an apparent effort to delay his trial, set to start next week, by arguing that the gag order placed on him while the case plays out is unjust. The order was initiated by New York Judge Juan Merchan, who has prohibited the presidential candidate from verbally attacking witnesses, prosecutors and court staff who are involved in the case.

It does not impose restrictions on speaking to or about Merchan himself as well as Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan District Attorney. The gag order was filed after Bragg requested it in March, following the judge’s initial avoidance of restricting the defendant’s speech.

Shortly after, Merchan extended the order to include prohibitions on attacking his and Bragg’s family, sparked by numerous posts by Trump that referred to the judge’s daughter, Loren, who works at a political consulting firm that prides itself on high-profile Democratic clients.

The judge’s daughter is also involved in the case through Trump’s demands that Merchan recuse himself from the lawsuit, insisting that he should not be on the case due to the fact that his daughter’s place of employment works with 2024 Democratic presidential candidates. Trump has tried to play this card twice.

Last week, the former president called for a recusal from the judge as Loren’s firm, Authentic Campaigns, has served high-profile Democrats including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

The case at hand relates to many charges brought against Trump that allege he enabled a staff member to make payouts to former adult film star Stormy Daniels in order to cover up a supposed affair prior to the 2016 presidential election. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all 34 charges brought against him in the case. If his efforts to delay the trial are dismissed, the criminal trial will begin on April 15.