Judge Merchan Melts Down Over Trump Witness

(UnitedVoice.com) – The prosecution wrapped up its case in former President Donald Trump’s financial crimes trial in New York City, on May 20. The defense called a witness to the stand soon after. That witness clashed with the judge.

The defense called lawyer Robert Costello to the stand as a rebuttal witness to discredit Michael Cohen, the former president’s ex-fixer and personal attorney. Costello has repeatedly spoken out against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s charges against Trump. During the testimony, prosecutors repeatedly objected to a line of questioning and the judge sustained (ruled for prosecutors) the objections, cutting off the witness’s responses.

Costello responded by sighing and saying, “Jeez,” into the microphone.

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan sounded irritated and said, “I’m sorry?”

Not taking the hint, Costello, a former federal prosecutor, continued to react to the objections and sidebars between the lawyers and judge. Reporting indicated he repeatedly groaned.

Finally, Merchan had enough of it and instructed the jury to leave the room so he could have a conversation about “proper decorum” in the court with the defense witness. The judge laid into Costello, telling him that he doesn’t get to roll his eyes, say “jeez,” or give him a “side eye” when he doesn’t like his rulings. Merchan also demanded Costello not say “strike it” because the judge is “the only one who can strike testimony in the courtroom.”

Costello responded by making a face at the judge and staring at him for a long time, which infuriated Merchan. He asked, “Are you staring me down?” and then ordered everyone out of the room, including the press. Journalists complained about being forced to leave but ultimately listened to the furious judge and walked into the hallway. They were out there for several minutes before the court officers allowed them to reenter.

The trial transcript revealed the judge told Costello that if he tried to stare him down again he would be removed from the stand and all of his testimony would be struck from the record. The witness asked if he could respond but the judge said, “No, no. This is not a conversation.”

After court ended for the day, Trump called Merchan a “tyrant.”

Copyright 2024, UnitedVoice.com