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Trump kicks off day two of hush money trial directing ire at ‘conflicted’ judge: ‘Trump-hating’

Former President Donald Trump slammed hush money case presiding Judge Juan Merchan as a "conflicted" judge ahead of entering the courtroom for day two of the trial.

Former President Donald Trump began the second day of the hush money trial in New York City railing against the case and its “conflicted” judge, whom the 45th president called a “Trump-hating judge.”

“We have a Trump-hating judge. We have a judge who shouldn’t be on this case. He’s totally conflicted. But this is a trial that should never happen. It should have been thrown out a long time ago,” Trump said Tuesday before heading into the courtroom, referring to Judge Juan Merchan.

“It’s a trial that is being looked upon and looked at all over the world. … They’re looking at, analyzing it. Every legal pundit, every legal scholar said this trial is a disgrace,” he added. 


Trump arrived at court in Lower Manhattan for day two of a trial that is anticipated to last at least six weeks as he battles 34 charges of falsifying business records. Jury selection will continue Tuesday, a task that is anticipated to last at least a week. 

LIVE UPDATES: TRUMP HUSH MONEY TRIAL ENTERS DAY TWO AS JURY SELECTION CONTINUES

Ninety-six potential jurors filed into the courtroom Monday, where they were asked a series of questions to determine if they can serve as impartial jurors. More than 50 out of the pool of 96 were dismissed for admitting they could not serve fairly on the panel, while a handful of others were dismissed due to other issues.

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The court is anticipated to vet a pool of roughly 500 jurors before selecting 12 New Yorkers and a handful of alternates from the group.  

JUDGE PRESIDING OVER TRUMP HUSH MONEY CASE DECLINES TO RECUSE HIMSELF 

The trial’s origins stretch back to the 2016 election cycle, when former Trump attorney Michael Cohen paid former pornographic actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 to allegedly silence her claims she had an extramarital affair with Trump back in 2006. 

Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels and also pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought forth the indictment last year. Prosecutors say the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen for the payment to Daniels and falsely recorded the payments as legal expenses. Prosecutors are working to prove that Trump falsified the records with an intent to commit or conceal a second crime, which is a felony.

TRUMP CALLS HUSH MONEY TRIAL ‘ASSAULT ON AMERICA’ AS CASE OFFICIALLY KICKS OFF

“I was paying a lawyer and marked it down as a legal expense account. I didn’t know. Marked it down as a legal expense. That’s exactly what it was. And you get indicted over that?,” Trump said on Tuesday. 

Trump has railed against presiding Judge Merchan for months, including on Truth Social, where he has described him as “suffering from an acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.” Trump’s legal team had also demanded Merchan’s recusal from the case, citing that Merchan’s daughter works as a Democratic consultant. The judge denied the motion on Monday. 

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“There is no agenda here,” Merchan said Monday ahead of rejecting the recusal request. 

TRUMP TRIAL: JURY SELECTION TO RESUME AFTER POSSIBLE JURORS EXCUSED FOR SAYING THEY COULD NOT BE IMPARTIAL

“We want to follow the law,” he added. “We want justice to be done.”

Trump’s legal team had also called on Merchan last year to recuse himself, pointing to his daughter’s work and previous small donations Merchan made to Democrat causes for the 2020 election. The judge also denied that request for recusal, citing that a judicial ethics advisory committee had determined his daughter’s interests would not impact his ability to fairly oversee the case. 

The trial is expected to last for approximately six weeks. The court will not meet on Wednesdays, nor on Monday, April 29.

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

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