Former President Donald Trump slammed New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan on Monday for potentially preventing him from attending his son Barron Trump’s high school graduation next month. Merchan, who is overseeing Trump’s criminal hush money trial, has threatened the former president with arrest if he is not present for the daily court proceedings, though he has not yet ruled on whether he will grant an exemption for the graduation ceremony.

As Valuetainment previously reported, Monday marked the first day of Trump’s New York criminal trial, in which the former president stands accused of manipulating business records to cover up “hush money” payments to porn star Stormy Daniels to cover up an alleged affair ahead of the 2016 election. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying records, to which Trump has pled not guilty.

Trial proceedings are scheduled for every weekday except for Wednesdays and could last for up to eight weeks.

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Donald Trump slammed New York Judge Juan Merchan for preventing him from attending his son Barron's high school graduation during the hush money trial.
(Jane Rosenberg/Pool Photo via AP)

With the arduous jury selection process now underway, Judge Merchan was largely non-committal about allowing Trump to miss certain days of the proceedings. Trump’s attorneys initially requested that their client be excused next Thursday to attend a US Supreme Court hearing assessing his presidential immunity claims in a separate criminal case, but Merchan rejected this petition outright.

“Arguing before the Supreme Court is a big deal, and I can certainly appreciate why your client would want to be there, but a trial in New York Supreme Court … is also a big deal,” he said. “I will see him here next week.”

The former president also asked to be excused on May 17th to attend his youngest son’s graduation at Oxbridge Academy in Palm Beach, Florida. Merchan has not yet made a decision on this issue, saying instead that “it really depends on if we are on time and where we are in the trial.”

“I was looking forward to that graduation with his mother and father there, and it looks like the judge [will] not allow me to escape this scam,” Trump fumed to reporters outside the courthouse.

“Who will explain for me, to my wonderful son, Barron, who is a GREAT Student at a fantastic School, that his Dad will likely not be allowed to attend his Graduation Ceremony…because a seriously Conflicted and Corrupt New York State Judge wants me in Criminal Court on a bogus ‘Biden Case’[?]” Trump continued on Truth Social. “The Judge, Juan Merchan, is preventing me from proudly attending my son’s Graduation. Seems very unfair, doesn’t it? But this whole event is unfair.”

He also denounced the decision to bar him from attending the Supreme Court hearing, saying it “shows such great disdain and disrespect for our Nation’s Highest Court, especially for a topic so important as Presidential Immunity.”

Following the former president’s outcry, prominent conservative media figures encouraged Trump to “call Merchan’s bluff” and attend the graduation anyway. Given the criminal nature of the New York trial, Trump could possibly face an arrest warrant if he fails to appear in court.

Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

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