Trump’s lawyers want the judge in the case to step down

In Gaza, seven members of the World Central Kitchen charity were killed by Israeli forces, according to confirmation. The victims were traveling in a convoy that had been organized with the Israeli military and bore the charity’s logo.
Appointing an independent investigation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the lethal assault on the relief workers “tragic” and unintentional.
After the convoy left a warehouse in Deir el-Balah, it was hit while unloading over 100 tonnes of food aid that had been transported by sea to Gaza.
On Tuesday, a number of humanitarian aid organizations, including WCK, ceased operations in Gaza.
It is imperative for the groups to ascertain if their employees are capable of safely delivering aid within the area.
In order to convey its “unequivocal condemnation of the appalling killing” of the WCK workers, the UK called Israel’s ambassador to London.
David Cameron, the British Foreign Secretary, wrote on X, “Israel must urgently explain how this happened and make major changes to ensure safety of aid workers on the ground.”.
“During a briefing in Washington, we were shocked to hear about an IDF [Israeli army] strike that claimed the lives of several civilian aid workers from the World Central Kitchen yesterday,” White House spokesperson John Kirby said to reporters.

NEUTRAL

Seven months after the judge denied defense attorneys’ request to withdraw from Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York, the former president’s attorneys are requesting once more that Judge Juan Merchan recuse himself from the case.

The former president’s daughter’s employment with the digital consulting company Authentic Campaigns, according to a letter filed by defense attorneys on Monday, creates a “ongoing financial interest” in the former president’s criminal trial.

“Under these circumstances, Your Honor has an interest in this case that warrants recusal, there is an unacceptable risk that the Court’s family relationships will influence judicial conduct, and the Court’s impartiality’may reasonably be questioned,'” Todd Blanche, the defense attorney, wrote requesting authorization to submit a recusal motion.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office filed a response on Tuesday, arguing that Merchan’s defense request for a recusal was factually incorrect, lacked new information, and ought to be promptly denied.

Matthew Colangelo, the prosecutor, stated that there is “just nothing new here that would alter this Court’s prior conclusion that nothing about this proceeding will directly benefit Authentic or this Court’s family member, let alone this Court.”.

Similar efforts were made by Trump’s attorneys to have Merchan removed from the case last year on the grounds that he had given $35 in political contributions to Democrats in 2020, including $15 to Joe Biden, that he was in charge of the 2022 Trump Organization trial, and that his daughter was employed as a political consultant.

In a ruling from August 2023, Merchan declined to recuse himself, stating that “this Court has examined its conscience and is certain in its ability to be fair and impartial. “.”.

The defendant has not provided evidence that there are specific, plausible, or even necessary grounds for recusal on these grounds. Regarding the claims pertaining to his daughter’s work, Merchan stated, “The speculative and hypothetical scenarios offered by Defendant fall well short of the legal standard.

Merchan cited an assessment from New York’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics from May 2023, which concluded that due to his daughter’s work, his “impartiality cannot reasonably be questioned.”.

“We find nothing in the inquiry to suggest that the judge’s relative, the relative’s business, or any of their interests could be impacted in any way by the case’s outcome,” the committee concluded.

The conditions of the trial have changed, according to Trump’s attorneys’ letter dated Monday, since Merchan decided in August 2023 not to recuse himself.

“The defense’s identified scenarios have materialized. The document stated, “President Trump is the presumed Republican nominee for president in the 2024 election,” before emphasizing Merchan’s daughter’s function as a political consultant.

According to documents examined by ABC News, Loren Merchan was a partner at Authentic Campaigns, which has provided digital ad placement, fundraising list acquisition, and other digital consulting services to multiple Democratic clients. The 2020 presidential campaigns of Vice President Kamala Harris, President Joe Biden, House Majority PAC (SMP), the pro-Democrat super PAC, and Rep. Adam Schiff’s previous House and Senate campaigns.

In the 2023–2024 election cycle, Authentic Campaigns has already received payment of almost $12 million. The firm received $10.7 million from SMP in the previous year, and $21.1 million and $70.6 million, respectively, from the Biden and Harris campaigns in the 2020 election, according to FEC disclosure reports.

“There is compelling evidence that Authentic has profited from this case. Blanche maintained, “Those benefits and the ongoing financial interest cannot be ignored,” implying that Merchan’s daughter would “continue to earn money” as a result of developments in Trump’s criminal trial providing “fodder for fundraising!”. “.”.

The defense’s claims regarding Merchan’s financial conflict with his daughter were refuted by the prosecutors in their response, which was submitted on Tuesday. They claimed that there were “multiple attenuated factual leaps here that undercut any direct connection between Authentic and this case.”. “.”.

As stated in the filing, “This daisy chain of innuendos is a far cry from evidence that this Court has ‘a direct, personal, substantial or pecuniary interest in reaching a particular conclusion.”.

Days before the 2016 presidential election, days before the hush money payment to Daniels by his then-attorney Michael Cohen, Trump entered a not guilty plea to a 34-count indictment against him. The indictment accused him of falsifying business records. The outgoing president has refuted any misconduct.

The trial’s jury selection process is expected to begin in New York City on April 15.

Soo Rin Kim of ABC News assisted with this report.

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