Trump Asks Trial Judge to Step Aside, Aiming Again at His Daughter

Donald J. Trump, desperate to delay his criminal trial in Manhattan this month, has renewed a request for the judge overseeing the case to step aside, the latest twist in the former president’s attacks on the judge’s integrity — and family.

In a court filing made public Tuesday, Mr. Trump’s lawyers argued that the judge, Juan M. Merchan, has a conflict of interest because his daughter is a political consultant who has worked with Democratic candidates. The lawyers also claimed that her company, Authentic Campaigns, has used social media to deride Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and tout its connections to President Biden.

“The trial in this case will benefit Authentic financially by providing its clients more fodder for fund-raising, Authentic will make more money by assisting with those communications and your honor’s daughter will continue to earn money from these developments by virtue of her senior role at Authentic,” Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Todd Blanche and Susan Necheles, wrote in a letter to the judge. “Your honor has an interest in this case that warrants recusal.”

The Manhattan district attorney’s office, which brought the case against Mr. Trump, fired back, noting that Justice Merchan had previously declined to recuse himself, citing a state advisory committee on judicial ethics. They argued that Mr. Trump had offered no new evidence, other than “a daisy chain of innuendos,” and said that he had made “multiple attenuated factual leaps here that undercut any direct connection between Authentic and this case.”

Mr. Trump’s latest effort to force out the judge — which, if granted, would delay the trial indefinitely — coincided with a barrage of attacks on the judge’s daughter, Loren Merchan. Mr. Trump last week targeted Ms. Merchan, claiming falsely that she had posted an image of him behind bars on social media.

He later escalated the attacks, identifying Ms. Merchan by name and accusing her of being “a Rabid Trump Hater.” He also posted a news article to his social media site, Truth Social, that displayed two pictures of Ms. Merchan.

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