Trump to sue judge presiding over hush money case in last-ditch effort to avert New York trial

Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys are suing New York Judge Juan Merchan, who is scheduled to preside over his trial on criminal charges related to alleged hush money payments starting next week. 

The lawsuit has not been made public as of press, but the court docket Monday shows that Trump is filing a case against the judge, per The New York Times.

An appeals court judge is likely to issue a ruling on the matter later in the day, and a five-judge panel will consider the request within the next several days.

The lawsuit is reportedly aiming to delay the trial, which is set to start April 15, and to challenge the gag order that Merchan imposed on Trump. The order prevents Trump from publicly speaking about witnesses, jurors, prosecutors and their family members, as well as the judge’s family. He may talk about Merchan and District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 charges in the case, which focuses on his alleged involvement in hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal ahead of the 2016 election.

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