On the first day of Donald Trump‘s criminal trial in Manhattan, Judge Juan Merchan denied a motion by Trump’s lawyers to recuse himself. Merchan made several preliminary rulings and began with jury selection in the case. 

Trump became the first former president in American history to face criminal prosecution.

Last week, New York appeals court Judge Cynthia Kern rejected Trump’s latest attempt to delay his criminal case in Manhattan, dealing another blow to the former president.

Kern denied Trump’s request to pause the case while he takes legal action against Merchan. Trump had hoped this would delay a criminal case and throw out the gag order Merchan imposed on him.

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The court decided that the gag order should stand, preventing Trump from attacking witnesses, prosecutors and the judge’s family, as he has in the past.

The former president could still have his request heard by a panel of five appellate court judges.

Amid his four criminal indictments, Trump’s primary legal strategy has been to stall the trials until Election Day in November. The Manhattan case may be the only one to make it to trial before then.

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