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Trump attacks judge who refused to further postpone hush money trial: “He hates me!”

Former President Donald Trump went on the offensive Tuesday against the New York state judge overseeing oversight The criminal trial over his alleged hush money payments in 2016.

Judge Juan Merchan, the latest jurist to face the indicted Republican presidential candidate’s wrath over the discharge of his duties, is presiding over a trial involving payments Trump allegedly made to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign , to bury the allegations made by him affair. The former president was charged with 34 crimes last year falsifying business documents in connection with the alleged payments.

Merchandise released later on Tuesday a gag order against Trump in the hush money case. The order prohibits the former president from speaking publicly about witnesses, jurors, court staff or prosecutors involved in the trial.

“There is no question that the imminent threat of harm is now paramount,” he wrote in the order.

As Trump has done in other cases he has been accused of, the Republican presidential candidate has strenuously denied wrongdoing in the hush money case. This trial will be the first time a U.S. president has been prosecuted.

In a post on his social media platform Truth Social: The presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee called Merchan a “very distinguished-looking man” who is “nevertheless a true and proven Trump hater who suffers from a very severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

“In other words, he hates me!” Trump continued.

The post comes a day after Merchan decided that the trial against Trump can continue as planned on April 15thand rejected a request from Trump’s lawyers either to delay the case for another 90 days or reject it entirely.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin on Monday. But Merchan has postponed it until next month, after the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office received a large collection of documents from the Southern District of New York that may contain new evidence in the case.

This initial delay was intended to give both sides sufficient time to review documents relating to a previous investigation. This investigation focused on whether Trump ordered his then-fixer Michael Cohen to give Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about an extramarital sexual encounter she allegedly had with the former president years ago. Prosecutors decided against charging Trump in that case, but the federal investigation led to Cohen pleading guilty in 2018 Campaign Finance Violationsamong other things.

The upcoming hush money trial is not the first time Merchan will oversee a case involving the former president or his company. The judge, a former prosecutor who often handles financial cases, previously presided over a tax fraud case against the Trump Organization that resulted in a $1.6 million fine for the company. The organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty and Served 100 days for his role in prison, although Merchan said at the time that he wished he could impose a harsher sentence.

In his Tuesday post, Trump also attacked Merchan for his “vicious treatment” of Weisselberg, whom the former president described as “older and not in good health.” Nicholas Gravante, who represented Weisselberg in plea negotiations, said Merchan was “a true listener, well-prepared, always available and a man who kept his word.” according to The Associated PresS.

Trump’s lawyers filed a motion in August asks Merchan to back off because of the judge’s comments on Weisselberg’s conviction and donations to Democratic groups totaling $35 in 2020 and his daughter’s employment at a political consulting firm that did digital marketing for the Biden campaign. Merchan rejected calls for his rejection.

Tuesday’s post was Trump’s latest attack on the judges overseeing his numerous court cases, as he repeatedly claimed the justice system was trying to interfere in this year’s election. Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon earlier this month rejected an offer from Trump’s lawyers to dismiss the case in which he is accused of keeping secret government documents in his private home in Florida.

Trump has repeatedly attacked Judge Arthur Engoron, who last month ordered the former president and his Trump Organization associates to pay a hefty fine in a civil fraud case in New York. Engoron was subjected to a bomb threat against his home And received an envelope filled with white powder Authorities later said it was harmless. The judge’s staff were also subjected to threats and harassment.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over the federal insurrection case against Trump in Washington, has also repeatedly faced his anger. She experienced it a so-called swatting attempt after someone made a false 911 call about her home.

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