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Judge Warns Donald Trump That He Will Be Arrested If He Disrupts Or Skips His New York Hush Money Trial

Judge Juan Merchan issued a warning to former President Donald Trump, saying that he would be arrested if he disrupted or skipped his hush money trial.

On April 15, the day this warning was issued, Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, claimed that the former president wanted to be present for trial proceedings. Such proceedings include sidebar conferences during the trial and voir dire, the initial examination of a witness or a juror.

In response, Merchan warned that Trump’s presence may also pose logistical challenges involving the Secret Service.

Judge Merchan warned Trump that if he disrupted the proceedings, he could be imprisoned, and the trial would continue in his absence. The judge also warned the former president that he might face an arrest warrant if he skipped his trial for no reason—a statement given to defendants in New York called the Parker Warning.

In addition, Blanche stated that the former president wants to be at the Supreme Court when it hears arguments about whether he could claim presidential immunity in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s election interference case.

Judge Merchan said that he would “see [Trump] here next week,” telling Blanche that the former president “is a criminal defendant” who is “required to” be present at his trial proceedings, not “in the Supreme Court.”

The Supreme Court is scheduled to consider “whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office” and will hear arguments on April 25.

In a Truth Social post on Monday, Trump mentioned that he was forbidden from attending his son Barron Trump’s high school graduation ceremony on May 17 after he asked if he could miss the trial and attend.

“In addition to being prohibited from attending my son Barron’s High School Graduation, I have just learned that the highly biased Judge in the Soros’ appointed’ D.A. Alvin Bragg’s Witch Hunt Case will not allow me to attend the historic PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY argument in front of The United States Supreme Court, on Thursday, April 25 (next week!),” he stated.

“This shows such great disdain and disrespect for our Nation’s Highest Court, especially for a topic so important as Presidential Immunity, without which our Country would never be the same,” he said.

Judge Merchan did not did not deny Trump’s request to attend his son’s graduation. He said that it was too early to rule on this request since his decision “depends on if we are on time and where we are in the trial.”

“That I can’t go to my son’s graduation and I can’t go to the United States Supreme Court, that I’m not in Georgia or Florida or North Carolina and campaigning like I should be,” Trump said in a press conference after the first day of court.

“It’s perfect for the radical left Democrats,” he argued. “That’s exactly what they want. This is about election interference. That’s all it’s about.”

In August 2023, Judge Merchan allowed Trump to block two Manhattan district attorneys’ subpoenas attempting to search emails sent by his wife, Melania Trump, and similar documents. The judge decided that these subpoenas had been too broad, ruling in the former president’s favor. The Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg sought to obtain the documents and emails to use as evidence against Donald in his felony case that alleges he falsified his business records.

If he were allowed to do so, Trump would have had to hand over nearly a year’s worth of emails that were sent between White House officials and Trump Organization employees.

Judge Merchan elaborated on his decision, stating that the “request would yield significantly more responsive records than necessary.”

On March 19, Judge Merchan ruled against Trump’s legal team’s attempt to keep former adult film star Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen from testifying during his hush money trial. The former president’s attorney sought to block testimony from these witnesses, on top of Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The 47-page motion attacked the witness’ credibility. It argued that Cohen had already perjured himself, Daniels hoped “to offer false, salacious, and unduly prejudicial testimony relating to President Trump,” and that “people clearly seek to recast history and interject the details of McDougal’s alleged affair with President Trump for the sole purpose of inflaming the jury and prejudicing President Trump’s defense.”

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