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Trump again seeks recusal of judge in hush money trial

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Donald Trump is again seeking to get the judge overseeing his upcoming New York criminal trial off the case, arguing the judge’s daughter’s work for a political consultancy with Democratic clients poses a conflict of interest.

The Republican presidential candidate last year made a similar request for Justice Juan Merchan to recuse himself, but the judge denied the bid after an ethics panel found that his daughter’s work did not pose reasonable questions about his impartiality.

In a one-page court filing dated April 1 and made public on Tuesday, the former US president’s lawyers asked Merchan for permission to file a formal motion for him to recuse himself, arguing the trial would benefit his daughter’s firm, Authentic Campaigns, financially.

“It can no longer be ignored that Authentic’s commercial interests are benefited by developments in this case,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

The first ever criminal trial of a former president is scheduled to begin on April 15.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up his former lawyer Michael Cohen’s $US130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels for her silence before the 2016 election about a sexual encounter she says she had with Trump.

Trump denies any encounter with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

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