Trump says Judge Merchan has a way to regain 'respect' despite presiding over 'witch hunt trial'

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Former President Donald Trump said the judge presiding over Trump's NY trial, Juan Merchan, can earn back “respect” if he decides to dismiss the case.

'This case must be dismissed by the judge. I think if the judge did that, he could… regain respect. The Court of Appeal must intervene, something must be done. Think about it, the Republican Party, one of the two major parties nominates someone as their candidate. And that candidate has been sitting here in an ice-cold cooler listening to this stuff for almost five weeks now,” Trump said on Monday after a whirlwind day in court.

“I think the case is going very well. We have asked for the case to be ended. This case has to be ended. This cannot go anywhere. It has to be ended now. And New York State needs to build its system. Again, the state New York can't let this happen. No crimes have been committed. And I want people to campaign again,” Trump later added.

Trump attorney Todd Blanche requested a dismissal order Monday, arguing there was no evidence that the business documents or records related to the case were false. The case itself centers on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office must prove to the jury that Trump not only falsified business records related to payments to Stormy Daniels, but that he did so in furtherance of another crime: conspiracy to facilitate or prevent an election .

COHEN'S BOMBSHELL ADMISSION COULD LEAD TO HANGED JURY, IF NOT ACQUITTED: EXPERT

Former President Donald Trump attends the first day of his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 15, 2024. Judge Juan Merchan poses for a photo in his chambers, Thursday, March 14, 2024, in New York. (Angela Weiss/AFP via AP, POOL/AP)

The prosecution team alleges that Trump falsified business records to conceal a $130,000 payment to former porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election in order to suppress her claims of an affair with Trump. Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case and has repeatedly denied any affair with Daniels.

NY V TRUMP: MICHAEL COHEN ADMITS TO STEALING THOUSANDS FROM THE FORMER PRESIDENT'S COMPANIES

Blanche said there were “absolutely no false corporate documents” and no evidence of a connection to Trump.

“How on earth is it criminal to hide a false story from voters?” Blanche said.

Michael Cohen is asked if he took an oath while being questioned by lawyer Todd Blanche during former US President Donald Trump's criminal trial

Michael Cohen is asked if he took an oath as he is questioned by defense attorney Todd Blanche during former US President Donald Trump's criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to hide money paid to film porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 to silence, in Manhattan state court in New York City, USA May 16, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg)

“There is no way the court is going to let this case go to the jury with Mr. Cohen's testimony,” he added, referring to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Merchan told the court he would rule on the dismissal request at a later date.

NY V. TRUMP: MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE IS CONSIDERING A CONGRESSIONAL RUN

Monday was another action-packed day in court, with the prosecution's star witness, Cohen, admitting in his testimony that he had stolen thousands of dollars from the Trump Organization.

USA-POLITICS-JUSTICE-COURT-TRUMP

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen leaves his home for Manhattan Criminal Court on May 14, 2024 for the trial of former US President Donald Trump for covering up hush money payments related to extramarital affairs in New York City. (TIMOTHY A.CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Cohen said he stole $30,000 from the Trump Organization by exaggerating how much he paid to a technology company that provided services to the company. Cohen said he told former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg in 2017 that he had paid tech company Red Finch $50,000 out of his own pocket, and that he still needed reimbursement for the payment.

Weisselberg and Cohen in 2017 calculated a $420,000 refund to Cohen for his $130,000 payment to Daniels, as well as the alleged $50,000 payment to Red Finch.

However, Cohen said in court Monday that he only paid Red Finch $20,000, meaning he pocketed $30,000 when he was reimbursed.

TRUMP KILLS DOWN THE NY COURT SYSTEM, DECLARES HE'S 'GOING TO WIN' THE EMPIRE STATE

“You stole from the Trump Org, right?” Trump lawyer Todd Blanche asked Cohen on Wednesday morning.

“Yes sir,” Cohen replied.

Former President Donald Trump attends the first day of his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York

Former President Donald Trump attends the first day of his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 15, 2024. (Angela Weiss/AFP via AP, POOL)

Cohen said taking the money was “almost like self-help,” claiming he took the money because he was “angry” that his annual bonus had been cut.

Legal experts said Cohen's admission of stealing further damaged his credibility. The comments come Monday after Cohen was repeatedly labeled a “conman” and liar by legal experts. Cohen is a disbarred lawyer who was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after pleading guilty to charges including campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress.

NY V. TRUMP TO RESUME CONTINUING CROSS-EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL COHEN AS TRIAL NEARS CONCLUSION

Amid his testimony Monday, Cohen also said he is considering a possible run for Congress, citing the “best name recognition there is.”

Cohen was the prosecution team's final witness, while the defense team is now calling their witnesses in the case. The defense team first called Daniel Sitko, a paralegal at Blanche's law firm, and then Robert Costello, a former legal representative for Cohen who testified before a grand jury last year that Cohen is a “serial liar.”

Robert Costello / American newsroom

Robert Costello / American newsroom (Robert Costello / American newsroom)

The courtroom became tense during Costello's testimony, with Merchan ordering the media and jurors to leave the room after Costello audibly and visibly disapproved of the judge's statements, drawing multiple objections from the prosecution team.

“I want to discuss proper decorum in my courtroom,” Merchan said after the jury left. “You don't say hit it because I'm the only one who can hit it.”

MICHAEL COHEN ONCE SWEARED TRUMP WAS NOT INVOLVED IN STORMY DANIELS PAYMENT, HIS EX-LAWYER TESTIFIES

Merchan chided Costello for not rolling his eyes or responding to his statements. Before the jury returned to the courtroom, Merchan asked Costello, “Are you staring at me?”

Costello will resume his testimony during cross-examination on Tuesday. Closing arguments in the case are expected to take place next Tuesday.

FLASHBACK: TRUMP-MANHATTAN DA CASE: BOB COSTELLO TESTIFIES BEFORE GRAND JURY, SAYS MICHAEL COHEN A 'SERIAL LIAR'

Trump has consistently maintained his innocence in the case, calling it a “sham” and “witch hunt” promoted by the Biden administration and the Justice Department before the 2024 election.

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'It's an attack on [President Biden’s] political opponent. That's all it is. Of all the things you've seen in the past four weeks, most of them should never have been brought up. And besides, there is no crime. And we continue day after day. And I have to tell Iowa, 'I'm sorry, I'm not going to make it.' I tell New Hampshire, 'Sorry, I can't come. I'm on ice all day,” Trump told the media earlier Monday, before day 19 of the trial started.

Brooke Singman and Brandon Gillespie of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.

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