May 21, 2024

By Sophia Cai


Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) filed an ethics complaint Tuesday accusing the judge presiding over former President Trump’s New York hush money trial of a conflict of interest, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The letter is unlikely to have an immediate effect on the trial, but it’s the latest chapter in Trump allies attempting to defend the former president by lodging complaints against the judge and prosecutors involved in the case.

Zoom in: Stefanik’s argument is akin to that of the Trump campaign and other right-wing Trump allies, who have seized upon Merchan’s daughter, Loren, and her Democratic consulting work to call for Merchan’s recusal.

The other side: Merchan last August rejected Trump’s demand that he step aside from the criminal hush money case, citing guidance from the New York court system’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics about his daughter’s employment.

The big picture: Stefanik, a close Trump ally and one of his most vocal defenders in Congress, has filed five formal complaints against judges and prosecutors involved in cases against Trump.