Former President Donald Trump has criticized a New York Judge for barring him from attending a Supreme Court hearing on whether he has presidential immunity from prosecution for acts committed while he was in the White House.

The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., will start hearing arguments in the case on Thursday. A ruling on presidential immunity is expected by late June. However, New York State Supreme Court Justice Judge Juan Merchan denied former President Trump’s request for leave, saying he is needed in the New York Supreme Court for his so-called “hush money” trial.

In an April 24 interview with Fox News Digital, the former president claimed the judge thinks he is above the highest court in the land.

“Because he thinks he is above the Supreme Court, he is prohibiting me from going to the presidential immunity hearing where some of the great legal scholars will be arguing the case, the most important case in many years on the Supreme Court,” President Trump said.

“Without presidential immunity, the presidency becomes a ceremonial position only, it will be decimated. He’s prohibiting me from going. He is a radical left Democrat.”

Following former President Trump’s request last week, Judge Merchan said he could understand that, “Arguing before the Supreme Court is a big deal, and I can certainly appreciate why your client would want to be there.”

“But a trial in New York Supreme Court is also a big deal.”

In the Supreme Court case, prosecutors from the Department of Justice (DOJ) allege that President Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 election result on Jan. 6, 2021, charging him with four counts of conspiracy and obstruction. Former President Trump has denied that he attempted to overturn the election result, and was not doing anything wrong by calling for transparency and audits of the vote counts in swing states.

He maintains presidential immunity for his actions, which prevents prosecution for any official actions he took while still in the top job.

Special counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing the criminal investigations into President Trump’s actions, has argued that presidential immunity over a president’s official acts has no grounding in the Constitution, the nation’s history, or Americans’ understanding that presidents are not above the law.

Judge Rules Trump Has to Stay in New York

Judge Merchan ruled that President Trump would have to be in his Manhattan courtroom on Thursday instead for a trial concerning 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. President Trump has pled not guilty to all the charges.

According to President Trump, “Virtually every legal scholar and expert in the country” agrees with him that “there was no crime, that everything was done properly and that this is a case that should be dropped immediately.”

“It’s an embarrassment to crooked Joe Biden and the Democrat Party who are duly standing behind it and the judge is totally conflicted, totally conflicted,” he said.

“If falsifying a business record is because a bookkeeper wrote down ‘legal expense’ in paying a legal fee, that’s not falsifying. They call it a legal expense, and that’s what it was. It was a legal expense. It was legal fees paid to a lawyer, that’s called a legal expense.”

This isn’t the first time that former President Trump has requested leave from attending Judge Merchan’s court. He also has a pending request to attend his youngest son Barron’s high school graduation ceremony on May 17. Judge Merchan has not formally announced whether he will allow or deny this request.

Former President Trump claims the judge has already made made it clear he won’t be allowed to attend his son’s graduation.

“The other thing is, the judge is prohibiting me from going to my son’s graduation from high school, my son Barron, who has worked very hard and he’s a great student,” he said.

“He can’t have his father at his graduation because of a vicious judge that’s totally conflicted. He should never be allowed to do this case.”

Former President Trump and his attorney have pushed for Judge Merchan to step down from overseeing this case on the basis of his daughter, Loren Merchan, and her political work that is affiliated with high ranking Democrats.

Ms. Merchan holds a leadership role and ownership stake at Authentic Campaigns Inc., which features clients on its website, including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Minority House Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.).

Judge Merchan denied the request to recuse himself because he claimed his daughter’s work did not affect his ability to remain impartial.

President Trump is currently under a gag order in the case that bars him from public discussion of court staff, witnesses, prosecutors, and the judge’s family. The order does not bar comments about the judge or Mr. Bragg, an elected Democrat.

The former president has argued the order should be lifted because it impedes his right to free speech.

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