Jonathan Turley Says Trump Judge Crossed ‘The Line’ By Suggesting Witness Be Called By Alvin Bragg’s Team

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George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said Friday that the judge in former President Donald Trump’s trial crossed “the line” with a suggestion to prosecutors.

New York Judge Juan Merchan suggested that Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg testify after prosecutors from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sought to introduce Weisselberg’s severance package into evidence, according to Politico. Turley called the suggestion “very unusual” when asked about the development by Fox News host Martha MacCallum. (RELATED: Jonathan Turley Says Trump Trial Judge ‘Lost Control’ Of Courtroom During Stormy Daniels Testimony)

“It reminds me of a judge when I started out as a lawyer who was notorious because he would say, ‘Is the defense ready to present its case,’ and turn to the prosecutors and say ‘Are we ready to present our case?’ This is a little bit crossing the line. You’re not supposed to be making this a mutual effort,” Turley said.


Weisselberg was sentenced to five months in jail for perjury in April over testimony in Trump’s civil fraud trial.

Trump faces 34 felony charges of falsifying business records in an indictment secured by Bragg in March 2023 in a case centered around a $130,000 payout to porn star Stormy Daniels as part of a confidentiality agreement.

Turley earlier voiced criticism of Merchan over his handling of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. The judge told prosecutors to inform Cohen not to make public comments about the former president and the case on Friday.

“Cohen is out there, you know, attacking the president, campaigning against the president. People are attacking Cohen. Were you protecting against?” Turley asked. “He’s in the middle of a firestorm of his own creation and so the gag order makes no sense at all, it’s achieving nothing except silencing the leading candidate for the presidency and to have the sudden epiphany that just maybe, Cohen should be instructed not to make these statements is a bit late.”

“I mean, he’s closing the door after the horse has gone,” Turley continued. “I mean, this is the weekend before he appears on the stand. So, I would have expected at a minimum that the judge would have been very clear at the beginning of the case that these witnesses are asked not to make public statements.”

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