Second Ethics Complaint Filed Against NY Judge Merchan as Concerns Increase over His Handling of Trump ‘Hush Money’ Case

The unanimous jury verdict last week against former President Donald Trump in the “hush money” case involving porn star Stormy Daniels is prompting concerns about unethical behavior by New York Judge Juan Merchan. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY-24) filed a misconduct complaint against Merchan last week, alleging that he violated ethics rules by presiding over the case since his progressive activist daughter made money from the case.

The complaint Stefanik filed with the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct (NYSCJC) stated that under Section 100.3(E)(1)(d)(iii) of the Rules of Judicial Conduct for the New York State Unified Court System, “a judge is disqualified from a case when the judge knows that a person known by the judge to be within the sixth degree of relationship to him ‘has an interest that could be substantially affected by the proceeding.’”

She cited language from political campaigns that Loren Merchan’s clients sent. “Donald Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury,” the Democratic-run Senate Majority PAC emailed. “This is an important moment for our democracy, but our work isn’t over. We must continue protecting our Senate majority from GOP extremists. Please, rush in $10 (becomes $60) to help defend the Senate.”

Since the indictment, Stefanik said, “the Senate Majority PAC has raised approximately $73.6 million.” She pointed out how “U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, a retired federal judge in New York City appointed by President Clinton, raised concerns about Judge Merchan’s refusal to recuse in Scheindlin’s April 5, 2024 CNN appearance.”

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