May 28, 2024 - Politics & Policy

"Highly inappropriate": Judge admonishes Trump attorney for jail remark

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media with his attorney Todd Blanche (R) during his

Former President Trump speaks to the media with his attorney Todd Blanche on May 28 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The judge overseeing former President Trump's New York criminal trial rebuked defense attorney Todd Blanche during closing arguments Tuesday, calling his suggestion that Trump could go to jail "outrageous."

Why it matters: It's not the first time Judge Juan Merchan has reprimanded Blanche for his conduct in the courtroom.

Driving the news: Blanche suggested to the jury Tuesday that Trump could go to jail if he's convicted.

  • The judge shot back saying: "That was outrageous, Mr. Blanche. Someone who's been a prosecutor as long as you have, someone who's been an attorney as long as you have knows that is highly inappropriate," per the Washington Post.
  • "It is simply not allowed, period," Merchan said, per the New York Times. "It's hard for me to imagine how that was accidental."

Zoom out: The exchange came amid closing arguments in the historic case.

  • Trump faces 34 felony charges related to falsifying business records to obscure an alleged hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.
  • After closing arguments, a jury will decide whether to convict Trump of the charges. He has repeatedly denied wrongdoing in the case.

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