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New York Judge Juan Merchan is presiding over the historic Trump indictment over hush money payments, and now finds himself in the former president’s crosshairs as his past connection to other Trump-related cases is revealed. 

Merchan, who frequently handles financial cases, came to take on the former president’s trial because of a rotation of judges assigned to oversee grand juries and any cases that arise from them. 

On Friday, Trump declared on social media that Merchan ‘HATES ME’ and is the same person who “railroaded” my 75-year-old former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, to take a ‘plea’ deal.’ 

‘He strong armed Allen, which a judge is not allowed to do, & treated my companies, which didn’t ‘plead,’ VICIOUSLY. APPEALING,’ Trump added.

New York Judge Juan Merchan is presiding over the historic Trump indictment over hush money payments, and now finds himself in the former president's crosshairs over his past connection to other Trump-related cases.

New York Judge Juan Merchan is presiding over the historic Trump indictment over hush money payments, and now finds himself in the former president’s crosshairs over his past connection to other Trump-related cases.

Former President Donald Trump appears in court for his arraignment on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York. Judge Juan Merchan is adjudicating a criminal case against Trump brought by the Manhattan D.A. over hush money payment to a porn actor during his 2016 campaign.

Former President Donald Trump appears in court for his arraignment on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York. Judge Juan Merchan is adjudicating a criminal case against Trump brought by the Manhattan D.A. over hush money payment to a porn actor during his 2016 campaign. 

Trump then went after Merchan’s family in his speech at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday after being indicted in New York. 

‘I have a Trump-hating judge with a Trump-hating wife and family, whose daughter worked for Kamala Harris and now receives money from the Biden-Harris campaign, and a lot of it.’ 

Merchan’s 34-year-old daughter Loren works for consulting firm Authentic Campaigns, which counts, Vice President Kamala Harris, the Biden-Harris campaign, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Rep. Adam Schiff among its past clients.

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Born in Colombia and raised in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, the 60-year-old judge has worked as a government lawyer in New York since the 1990s. He attended Baruch College and Hofstra University Law School and worked as a family court judge and assistant district attorney in the New York County district attorney’s office, which is now prosecuting Trump. 

Merchan currently works at the New York Supreme Court, a felony-level trial court with branches throughout the state. 

Merchan was at the center of negotiations in 2021 that led to the Trump Organization’s longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg pleading guilty to charges that he skipped out on taxes over big-dollar perks he took in from the company – like Manhattan apartments, a car and school tuition. 

Weisselberg, who received a reduced sentence in exchange for testifying against the Trump Organization, is spending his five-month sentence at Rikers Island in Queens and is expected to be released on April 19. 

After Weisselberg testified, Merchan said he was particularly struck by Weisselberg’s wife receiving a one-time $6,000 payment from the company for a no-show job so that she would qualify for Social Security, even as her husband was making a lot of money.

‘So many Americans work so hard with the hopes that they may someday benefit from their contributions to Social Security,’ the judge said.

Merchan said he would have imposed a ‘stiffer sentence’ if he hadn’t already agreed to the five-month plea deal.  

 Also on Merchan’s docket is a case against Steve Bannon, who is charged with defrauding donors who gave money to his fund to build a wall on the southern border.

Keeping secrets: Scottish-born Anna Gristina, the so-called New York soccer mom madam, denied the charges against her and said that while prosecutors want her to name one client, she won't

Keeping secrets: Scottish-born Anna Gristina, the so-called New York soccer mom madam, denied the charges against her and said that while prosecutors want her to name one client, she won’t

Merchan's 34-year-old daughter Loren works for consulting firm Authentic Campaigns, which counts, Vice President Kamala Harris, the Biden-Harris campaign, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Rep. Adam Schiff among its past clients

Merchan’s 34-year-old daughter Loren works for consulting firm Authentic Campaigns, which counts, Vice President Kamala Harris, the Biden-Harris campaign, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Rep. Adam Schiff among its past clients

High-profile cases of N.Y. Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, 60, will be presiding over former President Donald Trump’s criminal case in Manhattan court, but this isn’t the first high-profile case the judge has overseen.

2022:  Merchan presided over the case of the Trump Org.’s former chief financial official and the tax fraud trial in which Alan Weisselberg, 75, was convicted of 17 counts, including conspiracy and falsifying business records. Merchan also oversaw the ex-CFO’s sentencing, including a five-month sentence at Rikers Island. According to NYC’s Department of Correction, the former Trump executive is expected to be released on April 19, 2023.

2015: Merchan oversaw the trial of four extreme sport jumpers who sneaked into the One World Trade Center building when it was under construction and launched themselves from the top. After landing, they posted dramatic footage of their descents — creating tremendous interest in the little-known criminal case.

2012:  He ruled on the case of the woman known as the ‘soccer mom madam’ — who made international headlines for allegedly running an Upper East Side call girl ring for millionaires.

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The Trump Organization then went to trial claiming the company didn’t benefit from Weisselberg’s scheme and Trump and his family knew nothing about it. 

A jury convicted the company and Weisselberg imposed the maximum $1.6 million fine. 

Also on Merchan’s docket is a case against Steve Bannon, who is charged with defrauding donors who gave money to his fund to build a wall on the southern border. 

Bannon has called the case ‘nonsense,’ and Trump pardoning him spared him from a similar federal case. After a delay, the next pre-trial hearing in that case is scheduled for May 25. 

In 2015, Merchan took on a case of four extreme sport jumpers who snuck into the One World Trade Center when it was still under construction, and jumped from the top. 

After landing, they posted the dramatic footage of their descents, garnering much attention on social media for what would otherwise be a little-known criminal case. 

Merchan sentenced them to community service and said at the time, they had ‘sullied the memories of those who jumped on 9/11 – not for sport but because they had to.’

In 2012, Merchan sentenced the so-called ‘soccer mom madam‘ to four months in prison over prostitution charges.

Anna Gristina, who is a mother of four children, maintains her innocence against the charges alleging she ran a multi-million dollar prostitution ring. 

In a case that garnered a media frenzy, the Scottish Gristina was charged with a single count of promoting prostitution after a multi-year investigation into her dealings with high-level clients she refused to name. 

Gristina maintains she was running a dating service, ‘just like match.com.’  

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