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The content discusses an explosive claim made by Donald J. Trump just weeks before his Manhattan criminal trial is set to begin. Trump alleged that the judge, Juan M. Merchan’s daughter, Loren Merchan, used an image of him behind bars as a social media profile picture, making it impossible for him to get a fair trial. However, the New York State Court system confirmed that the account in question was bogus as it no longer belonged to Loren Merchan, who had deleted it about a year ago. The profile picture on the account had been changed to a childhood portrait of Vice President Kamala Harris.

This incident is not the first time Trump has promoted online hoaxes, but attacking the judge’s daughter just before the trial begins marks an escalation on his part. The day before Trump’s claim, Justice Merchan imposed a gag order on Trump, prohibiting him from attacking witnesses, prosecutors, jurors, and court staff. However, the judge and his family were not included in the gag order. Trump wasted no time in attacking the judge, calling the case a sham and accusing the country of becoming a Banana Republic if the judge is allowed to stay on.

The judge’s daughter, Loren Merchan, works as an executive at Authentic, a digital marketing agency that works with Democratic candidates. Last year, Trump’s lawyers argued for the judge’s recusal, claiming that his daughter could benefit financially from his decisions. However, the judge declined, pointing to a state advisory committee on judicial ethics that determined his impartiality could not reasonably be questioned. The trial is set to begin on April 15 and will focus on allegations of Trump’s efforts to cover up a sex scandal during and after the 2016 presidential campaign, with the Manhattan district attorney’s office charging him with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

The trial has faced obstacles, with the defense attempting to delay or dismiss the case. Justice Merchan dismissed these attempts on Monday, clearing the way for the trial to proceed in April. If the trial goes ahead, Trump would be the first former American president to face trial on criminal charges. This incident involving Loren Merchan is just one example of Trump targeting women with his invective, as seen in his civil fraud trial last year when he falsely claimed that the judge’s principal law clerk was Senator Chuck Schumer’s girlfriend. Judge Arthur F. Engoron ordered a limited gag order on Trump, which he violated twice, resulting in $15,000 in fines.

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