Who is Juan Merchán, the Latino judge who is presiding over the accusations against Trump?
Donald Trump will be arraigned on Tuesday and the judge overseeing the case has already presided over cases involving the former president’s business.
The eyes of the whole world are on Donald Trump.
Last Thursday, March 30, a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict the Republican in New York in the Stormy Daniels case, making him the first former president to be charged with a crime. Trump is accused of bribing the adult film star to avoid revealing their affair in 2016, when he was in the middle of his presidential campaign.
Like any criminal process, the reading of the charges will be part of the first appearance; which will take place in the New York courts at 2:15 pm ET. At the arraignment hearing the formal accusations will be unsealed and Donald Trump must plead guilty or not guilty.
The indictment of the former resident of the White House will be presided over by an experienced Latino judge who is no stranger to Trump’s orbit. Juan Merchán, a former assistant attorney general in-charge in Nassau County and Suffolk County and first-generation immigrant of Colombian origin who is about to have his most outstanding case to date.
Who is Juan Merchan, the Latino judge who is presiding over the impeachment against Trump?
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Merchán immigrated to the United States when he was only 6 years old with his family. The now-justice on the State Supreme Court grew up in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, and became the first member of his family to attend college, according to a profile by the New York Times.
Initially, Merchan received a business degree from Baruch College in New York; but he dropped out to work. However, years later he resumed his studies, although this time he decided to study law at Hofstra University, where he obtained his law degree.
Merchan began his career in 1994 as an Assistant District Attorney in the Trial Division of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Later, he made the leap to the State Attorney General’s office . In 2006, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed him to the Bronx Family Court, and Governor David Paterson to New York State Court of Claims in 2009 In that same year, Juan began serving as an Acting Justice of the New York Supreme Court.
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The relationship between Juan Merchán and Donald Trump
The Colombian jurist is no stranger to former President Trump. It was Mechán who sentenced Allen Weisselberg, one of Trump’s most trusted employees, to prison. Additionally, he presided over the Trump Organization tax fraud trial and supervised the case of criminal fraud by his former adviser, Steve Bannon.
According to various testimonies collected by CNN, Merchan has been described as “a man of his word,” a “‘tough’ but ‘compassionate” judge, who does not tolerate delays or disruptions and knows how to maintain control of the room.
“[Merchan] doesn’t let the prosecutors or the defendants create any issues in his courtroom. He doesn’t let a media circus or any other kind of circus happen. I don’t think Donald Trump attacking him and threatening him is going to bode very well for him in the courtroom. The judge is the kind of judge where he will ignore it and not hold it against Donald Trump. He’s not vindictive in any way like that,” said Karen Friedman Agnifilo, a practicing attorney who worked as a senior assistant district attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office speaking to CNN.