According to attorneys who have appeared in Judge Juan Merchan's Manhattan courtroom, the jurist is fair, patient, listens well and is, as one colleague called him, "Bright, kind of chill."
That should be good news for Donald Trump who will be appearing before Merchan next week when he is brought up on the reported thirty charges contained in a sealed indictment being handled by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Unfortunately for the former president, Merchan has already overseen another case involving Trump and has witnessed first-hand how the former president's lawyers have conducted themselves and so he is well aware of the stunts they might try to pull.
According to the Daily Beast's Jose Pagliery, Merchan was the judge who ruled in the Trump Organization tax fraud case that resulted in a $1.6 million judgment, as well as sending CFO Allen Weisselberg to jail, and the normally even-keeled judge was highly critical of Trump's legal team's conduct in the courtroom.
As Pagliery wrote, "Trump’s [previous] legal tactics absolutely set him off," adding, "While presiding over the tax fraud trial of two Trump Organization companies in December, Merchan repeatedly lost his patience as Trump’s corporate lawyers broke the rules—leading witnesses, reading parts of transcripts jurors weren’t allowed to hear, and trying to distract the jury by duping them into thinking the case was about Trump the man, not his companies."
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"At one point during the trial, he repeatedly dragged Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. attorneys into a quiet sidebar to privately admonish them for making baseless objections to interrupt prosecutors—only to have them defy him minutes later, forcing the judge to send the jury out of the room," sternly telling them, 'It’s your responsibility to make sure… this doesn’t happen again,'" Pagliery wrote.
With the recent history in mind, and with Trump lashing out at the judge already on social media, the report suggests Trump's lawyers will likely be on a short leash in a trial that will have the country's undivided attention.
You can read more here.