Judge Allows Trump to Miss Court for Son Barron’s Graduation

Trump faces legal hurdles amid personal and public trials

by Zain ul Abedin
Judge Allows Trump to Miss Court for Son Barron’s Graduation
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Former President Donald Trump has been granted permission by New York Judge Juan Merchan to skip a court session to attend his son Barron's high school graduation. This decision comes amid Trump's ongoing trial, where he faces 34 felony charges related to financial misconduct.

Judge Merchan's approval came after evaluating the trial's progress, which began on April 15. The court quickly moved through the initial phases, including jury selection, which has kept the trial on track. "We picked the jury pretty quickly," Judge Merchan noted, allowing Trump to attend the significant family event scheduled for May 17 at Oxbridge Academy in Palm Beach, Florida.

During the trial's opening day, Trump had requested a pause in the court proceedings to be present at Barron's graduation. However, Judge Merchan initially held off on a decision, indicating the need to assess the trial's progress and prioritize its schedule.

"It really depends on how we are doing on time and where we are in the trial," he explained, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the trial's momentum unless they were ahead of schedule.

Contempt and Court Tensions

Additionally, Trump's request to adjourn the court for a day in April to attend Supreme Court arguments was denied by Judge Merchan, who asserted that the criminal trial takes precedence.

While the judge has accommodated Trump's request regarding his son's graduation, the courtroom has not been without tensions. On the same day, Trump was found in contempt of court and fined $9,000 for violating a gag order by making prejudicial online posts about the witnesses and jurors involved in his trial.

Judge Merchan sternly warned about the serious consequences of continued disregard for court orders, including possible incarceration. Trump's trial is historic as he is the first U.S. president to face criminal charges. The charges stem from accusations that he falsified financial records to conceal hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, purportedly to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office is set to argue that these actions were part of an attempt to defraud voters and illegally sway the election outcome. As the trial proceeds, Trump is required to appear in court four days a week, a commitment that underscores the gravity of his legal battles even as he participates in his family's milestones.