Rick Scott doubles down on attacks against Judge Merchan's daughter

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Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) stuck by his attacks against the daughter of the judge overseeing former President Trump’s criminal case on Sunday, claiming she is a “political operative.”

Scott was in New York City on Thursday to support Trump in his criminal case, where he faces over 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to attempts to cover up a past affair before the 2016 election. 

In front of the courthouse, Scott attacked the daughter of Judge Juan Merchan, claiming she was a Democratic operative and that her work tainted the judge’s impartiality. Trump previously made similar remarks, but he was reprimanded after Merchan expanded a gag order in the case.

The judge’s daughter is a political operative and raises money for Democrats,” Scott said in New York.

When questioned in a “Fox News Sunday” interview about why he personally went after someone who is not in politics, Scott doubled down.

“The Democrats are using the court system to go after and prosecute, criminally, a political opponent,” Scott said. “They’re just thugs trying to stop Trump from being able to run for president.”

“The judge’s daughter is a big Democrat fundraiser,” he continued. “Everybody involved in this is part of the Democrat machine. It looks horrible.”

The daughter, Loren Merchan, previously worked at a progressive consulting firm and has represented Democratic-aligned groups as an attorney. 

Trump’s previous attacks on Merchan were widely derided as unnecessary and too personal. Some of Trump’s initial claims were based on falsehoods spread by fake news accounts, a hearing on the matter later found.

Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) said at the time that “families should always be off-limits,” criticizing the former president.

Trump’s attacks were part of an attempt to get Judge Merchan to recuse himself from the case, which he did not.

Trial in the case continues this week, after some of the case’s most significant witnesses testified in court last week. It is unknown whether Trump himself will testify.

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