Judge signs off on DA request to publicly disclose Trump indictment that was returned, records show

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Then-President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to the White House residence as they exit Marine One on the South Lawn in 2020. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump lashed out online at the judge he is expected to appear before Tuesday, accusing Judge Juan Merchan of “railroading” former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg in a previous case.

Calling the allegations against him a “Witch Hunt Case,” Trump claimed in a Truth Social post that the judge “HATES” him.

Merchan is the “same person who ‘railroaded’ my 75 year old former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, to take a ‘plea’ deal,” Trump wrote.

“He strong armed Allen, which a judge is not allowed to do, & treated my companies, which didn’t ‘plead,’ VICIOUSLY,” the former president added.

Some context: Merchan oversaw the criminal tax fraud case against Weisselberg and two Trump Organization entities. Weisselberg pleaded guilty and Merchan approved his plea deal, under which Weisselberg would serve five months in jail if he pleaded guilty to 15 felonies and testified truthfully at the trial of the Trump companies. Weisselberg is expected to be released from Rikers Island next month.

The judge warned Weisselberg at his guilty pleas that he could face up to 15 years in prison if he deviated from this agreement.

At sentencing, Merchan said he found it “offensive” that Weisselberg fabricated a paycheck so his wife could receive federal benefits and wished he could have sentenced him to “a much greater” sentence.

During the investigation, the judge held the Trump entities in criminal contempt and fined them $4,000 for failing to comply with multiple grand jury subpoenas. The judge kept his ruling under seal until after the verdict so it wouldn’t prejudice the case. The Trump entities were found guilty of multiple counts of tax fraud and falsifying business records. The judge handed down the maximum sentence, a fine of $1.6 million. 

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