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Former President Donald Trump has once again called for the judge overseeing his hush money case in New York to recuse himself, citing a conflict of interest related to the judge’s daughter’s work for a political consultant with Democratic clients. Trump’s attorneys argue that Judge Juan Merchan’s impartiality in the case could be questioned due to this connection. However, prosecutors have rejected Trump’s claims, stating that there is nothing new to suggest that the judge or his family member would directly benefit from the case.

Despite Trump’s previous attempt to have Judge Merchan removed from the case, the judge had deemed his impartiality as not being reasonably questionable. The former president’s recent attacks on the judge and his daughter on social media led to an expansion of the gag order against Trump, which now includes restrictions on speaking about the judge’s family, the district attorney’s family, as well as the previously issued block on public comments about jurors, court staff, witnesses, or prosecutors. Trump’s social media posts were deemed to serve no legitimate purpose and were seen as threatening the integrity of the judicial proceedings.

The hush money trial, which is the first of Trump’s four criminal indictments set to go to trial, is scheduled to begin with jury selection on April 15. The case involves allegations that Trump paid $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels to prevent her from disclosing an alleged extramarital affair in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. Despite Trump’s efforts to delay the trial indefinitely, the legal proceedings are moving forward, with the judge imposing stricter restrictions on Trump’s public statements to safeguard the integrity of the case.

Trump’s repeated attempts to challenge the judge’s impartiality and his attacks on the judge and his family on social media have raised concerns about the impact on the fairness of the legal proceedings. The judge’s decision to expand the gag order against Trump was prompted by the need to protect those involved in the case from being targeted by the former president’s vitriol. As the trial date approaches, the focus remains on ensuring a fair and impartial legal process for all parties involved, despite Trump’s efforts to disrupt the proceedings through social media attacks and legal challenges.

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