Judge Rips Into Trump’s Lawyer In Court For Failing At The Basics Of His Job

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New York Judge Juan Merchan wasn’t thrilled with former President Donald Trump and his legal team this week.

Merchan is handling the New York City criminal case against Trump that accuses him of falsifying business records in connection to pre-2016 election hush money, and this week, there was an in-person hearing in the case related to scheduling the trial, specifically in light of a recent release — close to its originally scheduled start — of evidentiary materials from a federal prosecutor’s office.

Merchan ultimately teed up jury selection for the trial to start in the middle of next month, rebuffing ideas of further delays. And in court on Monday, he upbraided Trump’s defense team for what the judge characterized as a failure to produce supporting evidence from legal precedent for key arguments they were making.

Trump’s team had been seeking additional delays or the outright dismissal of the case, dubiously alleging a mishandling of relevant evidence by the local prosecutor’s office behind the charges. The ex-president’s team alleged prosecutors somehow fell short in the manner in which they provided Trump’s defense team with a documentary about Stormy Daniels, whose earlier hush money spurred some of the case’s circumstances. The local prosecutor’s office did so as part of the routine process of discovery, pre-trial procedures allowing for the sharing of potential evidence.

Also at issue were those federally sourced records made available in Trump’s criminal case only comparatively later.

“Merchan grew impatient, pressing Trump lawyer Todd Blanche to cite even a single legal precedent for his argument,” the Associated Press recounted of the hearing this week. Blanche reportedly failed to do so.

“You’re literally accusing the Manhattan DA’s office and the people assigned to this case of engaging in prosecutorial misconduct and of trying to make me complicit in it. And you don’t have a single cite to support that position,” the judge said. Trump, meanwhile, turned quickly this week to his characteristic ranting online, targeting the judge.