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Former DOJ Official Says Judge Being So Biased Against Trump Could ‘Backfire’ On Alvin Bragg

Former President George W. Bush Department of Justice official John Yoo on Monday said Judge Juan Merchan’s apparent bias against former President Donald Trump’s defense could “backfire” on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution.

Former advisor for Trump’s previous attorney Michael Cohen, Bob Costello, took the stand Monday for the defense, with Merchan kicking the jury out of the courtroom after the witness expressed displeasure at the judge sustaining objections interrupting his testimony, as reported by CNN. Yoo on Fox News’ “Your World With Neil Cavuto” said Merchan allowed porn star Stormy Daniels to testify more freely as a witness for the prosecution, displaying partiality that could anger the jury.


“I think the judge cutting him off and limiting him is going to be very frustrating to the jury,” Yoo said. “‘Cause they’re going to say, ‘Why isn’t the judge letting him tell the whole story after the same judge let Stormy Daniels wander all over God’s green earth giving her own testimony?’ So I’m not so sure this isn’t going to backfire on the prosecution, having a judge who’s so aggressively on their side and not letting the defense have some leeway with the witnesses, which they’re supposed to do. They’re the ones defending the innocence of their defendant from the government.”

Costello said “ridiculous” and “Jesus!” after the judge sustained objections by the prosecution, according to CNN.

Merchan rejected Trump’s defense attorney Todd Blanche’s motion for a mistrial after Daniels’ testimony, which he characterized as ”unduly prejudicial” against his client, with the judge indicating he will direct the jury to only take into account a limited portion of her testimony. The judge in March rejected Trump’s request to block Daniels, as well as Cohen, from testifying in the trial.

Merchan’s rulings have tended to appear favorable to Bragg while hampering Trump’s defense over the course of the trial as the judge has granted many of the prosecution’s requests while rejecting the defense’s requests.

Yoo on Monday also criticized Merchan for limiting a federal elections expert’s testimony for Trump’s defense despite enabling Daniels to testify freely for the prosecution. Merchan limited former Federal Election Commission commissioner Brad Smith’s testimony to describing what the commission does and is responsible for and defining terms pertaining to the case.

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