Former President Donald Trump lashed out at the judge expected to oversee his arraignment in a Truth Social post Friday.
Juan Merchan, acting justice for the New York County Supreme Court, is expected to oversee the arraignment that is likely to take place Tuesday after a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump on Thursday. The former president faces indicted charges for allegedly paying $130,000 in hush money to former porn actress Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 presidential election.
“The Judge ‘assigned’ to my With Hunt Case, a ‘Case’ that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME,” Trump wrote. “His name is Juan Manuel Marchan [sic], was hand picked by Bragg & the Prosecutors, & is the same person who ‘railroaded’ my 75 year old former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, to take a ‘plea’ deal (Plead GUILTY, even if you are not, 90 DAYS, fight us in Court, 10 years (life!) in jail. He strong armed Allen, which a judge is not allowed to do, & treated my companies, which didn’t ‘plead,’ VICIOUSLY. APPEALING!”
Merchan previously oversaw the criminal investigation on the Trump Organization for allegedly withholding salaries, wages and bonuses to benefit executives including Weisselberg, the company’s chief financial officer. Weisselberg pleaded guilty in August 2022 to 15 counts of tax evasion and fraud in a deal that could allow him to be witness against the company in an upcoming trial. He admitted to evading $1.76 million worth of unreported income after the Trump Organization allegedly provided the executive with untaxed perks. (RELATED: ‘Stretching The Law’: DeSantis Reacts To Trump Indictment, Says ‘Florida Will Not Assist’ Extradition)
Merchan sentenced Weisselberg to five months in New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex, five years of probation and required him to pay nearly $2 million in taxes, penalties and interest to the New York City and New York State tax authorities, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office announced in August.
Bragg’s office has reportedly been in contact with Trump’s legal team to arrange his potential arraignment. The former president, along with prominent Republicans, accused Bragg of allowing violent crime in New York City to run rampant while indicting the former president.
“Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace. Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he’s doing Joe Biden’s dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries and assaults he should be focused on. This is how Bragg spends his time!” Trump said Thursday evening.
Merchan started his legal career in 1994, when he served as a Manhattan district attorney. He moved to the State Attorney General’s office five years later, before being appointed to the bench at the Bronx County Family Court in 2006 by former New York Mayor Micheal Bloomberg, according to Ballotpedia.