Judge Rebukes Trump’s Lawyer for ‘Outrageous’ Comment in Hush Money Trial Closing

 Judge Rebukes Trump’s Lawyer for ‘Outrageous’ Comment in Hush Money Trial Closing

Ahmed Gaber / The New York Times / Redux

During the hush money trial of former President Donald Trump, tensions flared as Justice Juan Merchan addressed an “outrageous” and “highly inappropriate” comment made by Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, during his closing remarks. The contentious moment occurred on Tuesday when Blanche advised the jury they should not be “sending a man to prison,” prompting an immediate objection from the prosecution, which Merchan sustained.

After the jury was excused from the courtroom, the episode escalated. The prosecution requested that Judge Merchan instruct the jurors to disregard Blanche’s controversial remark. Visibly upset by the statement, Merchan confronted Blanche, expressing his disbelief and disappointment.

“I think that was outrageous, Mr. Blanche,” Merchan stated, clearly frustrated, as reported by Harry Litman. “Someone who has been a prosecutor as long as you should know better. It’s hard for me to imagine how that was accidental in any way.”

In response to the incident, Merchan directed the prosecution to draft a formal statement for the jury, aiming to mitigate any potential influence Blanche’s remark might have had. The incident highlighted the high stakes and intense scrutiny surrounding the trial, underscoring the legal complexities and emotional tensions involved in the proceedings against the former president.

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