Latest News 25-04-2024 00:01 10 Views

Trump says NY Judge Merchan ‘thinks he is above the Supreme Court’ after barring him from immunity arguments

Former President Trump said New York Judge Juan Merchan 'thinks he is above the Supreme Court,' after 'prohibiting' him from attending arguments Thursday on presidential immunity, telling Fox News Digital it is 'the most important case in many years' before the high court. 

The former president and presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee spoke exclusively to Fox News Digital on Wednesday after spending the last two days in a Manhattan courtroom for opening arguments and witness testimony in his unprecedented criminal trial. 

Trump had requested to attend arguments at the Supreme Court when it holds oral arguments about the former president's immunity on Thursday, but Judge Merchan, who is presiding over the trial, rejected that request. 

'Because he thinks he is above the Supreme Court, he is prohibiting me from going to the presidential immunity hearing where some of the great legal scholars will be arguing the case — the most important case in many years on the Supreme Court,' Trump told Fox News Digital.  

The Supreme Court is expected to rule in June on whether Trump is immune from prosecution by Special Counsel Jack Smith out of his investigation into 2020 election interference. 

'Without presidential immunity, the presidency becomes a ceremonial position only, it will be decimated,' he continued. 'He’s prohibiting me from going. He is a radical left Democrat.' 

When Trump requested to attend the Supreme Court arguments last week, Merchan told his attorney: 'Arguing before the Supreme Court is a big deal, and I can certainly appreciate why your client would want to be there.' 

'But a trial in New York Supreme Court… is also a big deal,' Merchan said last week, requiring the former president to be in his Manhattan courtroom on Thursday, instead of at the high court in Washington, D.C. 

A ruling from the Supreme Court on the issue of presidential immunity is expected by late June. 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

'Virtually every legal scholar and expert in the country said that this case should not have been brought, that there was no crime, that everything was done properly and that this is a case that should be dropped immediately,' Trump told Fox News Digital on Wednesday.

'It’s an embarrassment to Crooked Joe Biden and the Democrat Party who are duly standing behind it and the judge is totally conflicted — totally conflicted,' he said. 

'If falsifying a business record is because a bookkeeper wrote down ‘legal expense’ in paying a legal fee, that’s not falsifying,' Trump told Fox News Digital. 'They call it a legal expense — and that’s what it was. It was a legal expense.' 

He added: 'It was legal fees paid to a lawyer — that’s called a legal expense.' 

Trump’s criminal trial stemming from Smith’s investigation has been put on hold pending a Supreme Court decision on whether Trump is immune from prosecution. 

Smith charged the former president with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights. Those charges stemmed from Smith’s investigation into whether Trump was involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and any alleged interference in the 2020 election result.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges in August.

Meanwhile, Trump also requested to skip court on May 17 to attend the high school graduation of his youngest son, Barron. 

'The other thing is, the judge is prohibiting me from going to my son’s graduation from high school — my son Barron, who has worked very hard and he’s a great student,' Trump told Fox News Digital. 'He can’t have his father at his graduation because of a vicious judge that’s totally conflicted.' 

Trump added: 'He should never be allowed to do this case.' 

Trump and his attorneys had sought Merchan to recuse himself from the case due to his daughter’s Democrat-affiliated political work. 

Merchan’s daughter, Loren, has a leadership role and ownership stake at Authentic Campaigns Inc., which Trump lawyers say 'services exclusively Democrat clients' and is 'the #21 ranked vendor in the country in connection with the 2024 election.'

Some of Authentic’s top 'featured clients' on its website include campaigns associated with Trump opponents — including 'President Biden, Vice President Harris, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Congressman [Adam] Schiff, Congressman [Hakeem] Jeffries, Congressman [Dan] Goldman, Congresswoman [Lauren] Underwood, and Congresswoman [Summer] Lee.' The website also features its work for the Democrat-backed 'Senate Majority PAC,' and the Democrat-backed 'House Majority PAC.' 

Merchan said he saw no basis for recusal. 

As for Barron’s graduation, Merchan has yet to formally grant or deny Trump’s request, and instead has said he will make his decision based on how the trial is going. 

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