Juan Merchan, a judge who oversaw the fraud case against the Trump Organization last year, is expected to try Donald Trump in the Stormy Daniels hush money case, multiple media reports said. The former President was indicted on Thursday and will likely appear for arraignment on Tuesday.
Merchan was seen arriving at the Manhattan criminal courthouse, in gray sweatpants, a baseball cap and blue coat , hours before the grand jury voted to indict Trump.
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Merchan presided over the trial of the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. The latter pleaded guilty to 15 counts and testified against his employer. He said that he was involved in a scheme to defraud federal, state and city tax authorities. He was sentenced to five months in jail.
Donald Trump, with the indictment, becomes the first president of the United States to face criminal charges. “We do expect the arraignment to occur on Tuesday,” Merchan’s kawyer Susan Necheles told AFP in an email.
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Who is Juan Merchan?
As per his LinkedIn profile, Juan Merchan graduated in Bachelor of Business Administration – Marketing Management in 1990 from the Baruch College. He then completed his law degree from the Hofstra University School of Law.
Merchan has been an acting justice with the New York State Supreme Court since 2009. He started his career as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan and has 16 years experience on the bench.
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As per the New York Time, the judge was born in Bogotá, Colombia. He came to the US when he was 6 years old and grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens.
Juan Merchan was a part of the State Attorney General’s office before he was appointed to the Bronx Family Court bench in 2006. In 2012, he oversaw the case of the woman known as the “soccer mom madam”. She was accused of allegedly running an Upper East Side call girl ring for millionaires.