Trump blasts ‘highly conflicted’ judge after Michael Cohen’s first day of testimony wraps

Former President Donald Trump slammed Judge Juan Merchan as “highly conflicted” after Michael Cohen wrapped up his first day of witness testimony in the New York v. Trump trial Monday. “We have a corrupt judge, and we have a judge who is highly conflicted, and he’s keeping me from campaigning,” Trump said outside of the courtroom. “He’s an appointed New York judge. He’s appointed. You know who appointed him? Democrat politicians. He’s appointed. He’s a corrupt judge and he’s a conflicted judge. And he ought to let us go out and campaign and get rid of this scam.” “This day is truly going to go down as a day of infamy for the New York legal system, which… the whole world is laughing now at the New York weaponized legal system,” Trump added. Trump has repeatedly slammed Merchan as “conflicted” and politically biased, including railing against him on Truth Social ahead of the trial, when he called on the judge to recuse himself, citing Merchan’s daughter and her work as a political consultant for Democratic politicians. MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE SECRETLY RECORDED TRUMP IN LEAD-UP TO 2016 ELECTIONFox News Digital reached out to the New York state court system for comment.”Judge Juan Merchan, who is suffering from an acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome (whose daughter represents Crooked Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff, and other Radical Liberals, has just posted a picture of me behind bars, her obvious goal, and makes it completely impossible for me to get a fair trial) has now issued another illegal, un-American, unConstitutional ‘order,’ as he continues to try and take away my Rights,” Trump posted on Truth Social in March after he was given a gag order limiting what he could publicly say about the case. Trump has since slammed Merchan for the gag order, including after the New York judge fined Trump $10,000 for violating the order 10 times. Merchan warned Trump that if he continued violating the order, he could be tossed in jail, which Trump said is a “sacrifice” he’s willing to make. “I have to watch every word I tell you people. You ask me a question, a simple question I’d like to give it, but I can’t talk about it because this judge has given me a gag order and [says] you’ll go to jail if you violate it,” Trump said in remarks earlier this month. “And frankly, you know what? Our Constitution is much more important than jail. It’s not even close. I’ll do that sacrifice any day.”TRUMP, DEFENDERS SHOW UP IN FORCE AHEAD OF COHEN TESTIMONYMonday was an action-packed day in court, hearing testimony for the first time from former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen. The case focuses on Cohen paying former pornographic actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair she had with the then-real estate tycoon in 2006. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.Prosecutors allege that the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses. Prosecutors are working to prove that Trump falsified records with the intent to commit or conceal a second crime.MICHAEL COHEN’S CREDIBILITY ISSUES, BRAZEN TIKTOK USAGE RAISE MEDIA EYEBROWS AHEAD OF TESTIMONY Cohen took the stand Monday morning, where he detailed to the court that he spent his own funds to pay Daniels $130,000 in order to execute a non-disclosure agreement and obtain rights to her claims of the affair. In October 2016, according to Cohen’s testimony, he told Trump that Daniels must be paid in order to quiet her claims ahead of Election Day the following month. He testified that he spoke with Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg about how to fund the payment, with Weisselberg saying he was not in a position to initially foot the bill. MICHAEL COHEN EXPECTED TO TAKE THE STAND AS NY V. TRUMP TRIAL RESUMES”I ultimately said, ‘OK, I’ll pay it,’” Cohen testified, noting the urgency behind the matter as the election was just days away. Cohen said he did not discuss the matter with his wife, and decided to gather funds through a home equity line of credit instead of drawing the money from his personal account. MASSIVE TRUMP BEACH RALLY IN DEEP-BLUE NJ DRAWS STARK CONTRAST TO BIDEN’S BEACH WEEKEND: ‘BIDEN COULD NEVER'”My wife was CEO of the household, [she] would not understand $130,000 missing from our joint account,” he said. Cohen’s testimony also included detailing that he secretly recorded Trump in 2016 regarding another payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal. McDougal also claimed having an affair with Trump in 2006, which the 45th president has repeatedly denied. Former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker purchased exclusive rights to her story to bury the claims ahead of the 2016 election, according to trial testimony. Cohen said he secretly recorded Trump in September of 2016 to share with Pecker as proof Trump planned to reimburse Pecker for purchasing the potentially damaging story, according to the testimony. Cohen added that in addition to easing Pecker’s mind that he would be repaid, he also made the recording in order to keep Pecker “loyal” to Trump. Cohen said Trump was unaware he was being recorded at the time. Cohen is anticipated to return to the stand Tuesday morning, when court will begin at 9:30 a.m. 
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