The judge expected to preside over former President Donald Trump’s upcoming potential trial after he was indicted by a New York prosecutor is no stranger to the country’s 45th commander in chief.
According to multiple reports, that man will almost certainly be Colombian-born acting New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan.
Merchan was born in Bogota and moved to New York City at the age of six. He grew up not far from where Trump did in Queens, WNBC-TV reported.
But the two have more in common than having been raised in the same borough of the country’s most populous city.
Merchan oversaw the trial of the Trump Organization’s former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, last year.
Weisselberg accepted a plea deal after he and the Trump Organization were accused of tax crimes. Merchan sentenced Weisselberg to five months in prison and ordered the Trump Organization to pay a $1.6 million fine in January.
Merchan will also decide the legal fate of Steve Bannon in his felony criminal case after he was accused in New York of money laundering, CBS News reported.
Bannon was Trump’s chief White House strategist when he entered the White House in 2017.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office announced Thursday evening it had called Trump’s legal team to inform them that the former president would be criminally charged on the recommendation of a grand jury.
“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal,” Bragg’s office said in a statement. “Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”
Trump is the first president, current or former, to be indicted, and he is expected to appear in court on Tuesday of next week.
— Alvin Bragg (@ManhattanDA) March 30, 2023
What alleged crimes he will be charged with remained unclear on Friday morning. The case is in relation to “hush money” payments to former adult film star Stormy Daniels, who has claimed she had an affair with him in 2006.
Trump has denied the affair.
The former president commented on Merchan in a post on Truth Social on Friday morning.
“The Judge ‘assigned’ to my Witch Hunt Case, a ‘Case’ that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME,” the Republican Party’s leading candidate for the 2024 presidential nomination wrote.
Trump continued, “His name is Juan Manuel Marchan, was hand picked by Bragg & the Prosecutors, & is the same person who ‘railroaded’ my 75 year old former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, to take a ‘plea’ deal (Plead GUILTY, even if you are not, 90 DAYS, fight us in Court, 10 years (life!) in jail.”
Trump concluded Merchan “strong armed” Weisselberg into pleading guilty.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.