Donald Trump’s attorneys have filed a motion demanding that a judge withdraw from the Manhattan criminal case against the former president.
A statement from his attorneys was released on Trump’s campaign website Wednesday night, in which he accused Judge Juan Merchan of having conflicts, which the statement detailed in the motion detailed.
The motion seeks to have Merchan, who led Trump’s indictment in 34 counts of forging business records in Manhattan, step down in the case, Trump’s attorneys said.
“President Trump, like all Americans, has a right under the Constitution to an impartial judge and a fair trial,” his attorneys said in the statement, adding that the motion alleges Merchan of “significant conflict.”
The motion is not yet public and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office is making edits, attorneys involved in the trial said.
A spokesman for the Manhattan Attorney’s Office said they will review the request and respond to it in court filings.
Trump has complained in social media posts that Merchan “hates me.” Prominent attorneys interviewed by NBC News about Merchan’s reputation say the Justice of the New York Supreme Court (in New York, the Supreme Court is the term for the state’s highest court) is fair.
In Wednesday night’s statement, Trump’s attorneys said brought up, in part, the fact that Merchan led the criminal case against the Trump Organization. Her testimony also relates to Merchan’s daughter’s employment at a political firm that worked for President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
Merchan fined the Trump Organization $1.6 million for a long-running tax fraud scheme. The key witness for the prosecution was former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, who testified against the company as part of a settlement agreement.
Weisselberg pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges in August and was sentenced to five months in prison. He was sent to Rikers Island in January and released in April.
Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury in March on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to his role in hush-hush payments granted to adult film star Stormy Daniels weeks before the 2016 presidential election to investigate an alleged affair with him Decade ago to keep silent. He pleaded not guilty to the allegations and has repeatedly denied having an affair.
The Manhattan Attorney’s office, which brought the case before the grand jury, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.
The criminal trial is scheduled for March 2024.