Stefanik demands investigation into ‘random’ selection of Trump Judge Merchan

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is requesting an investigation into the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s criminal case in New York, pointing to his role in at least two other trials related to the former president in possible violation of state laws that dictate judges must be randomly assigned to cases.

In a letter sent to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct on Tuesday, Stefanik requested the panel determine whether the appointment of Judge Juan Merchan to Trump’s hush money trial violates the Uniform Rules for New York State Trial Courts. Those rules dictate that judges must be assigned “pursuant to a method of random selection authorized by the Chief Administrator,” something Stefanik suggests is being ignored in order to convict Trump.

“One cannot help but suspect that the ‘random selection’ at work in the assignment of Acting Justice Merchan, a Democrat Party donor, to these cases involving prominent Republicans, is in fact not random at all,” Stefanik wrote in the letter, which was also sent to Kay-Ann Porter Campbell, the inspector general of the New York State Unified Court System. “If Acting Justice Merchan or any other Justices of the Court are found to have violated these rules, I would hope that the Commission would subject them to the required discipline.”

Stefanik pointed to Merchan’s current role overseeing Trump’s hush money trial in New York, where the former president faces 34 counts of falsifying business records. The GOP chairwoman also cited Merchan’s involvement in at least two other cases related to the former president, including the Trump Organization’s tax fraud trial in 2022 as well as former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s criminal fraud case.

”If justices were indeed being randomly assigned in the Criminal Term, the probability of two specific criminal cases being assigned to the same justice is quite low, and the probability of three specific criminal cases being assigned to the same justice is infinitesimally small,” Stefanik wrote. “And yet, we see Acting Justice Merchan on all three cases.”

The complaint comes just one week after Stefanik submitted a separate complaint against Merchan, urging the judge to recuse himself from Trump’s hush money trial over allegations his daughter is using the indictment for financial gain. 

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Stefanik, a fierce Trump supporter who is vying for a chance to be his vice presidential pick, has filed several complaints in support of the former president, arguing Democrats are using his criminal trials to damage him politically as the GOP presidential nominee.

It’s not clear whether action will be taken on the complaint as closing arguments in Trump’s hush money case have already begun, meaning the trial could conclude as early as this week. The Washington Examiner contacted both the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct and the New York State Unified Court System for comment.

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