Fox News Host Confronts GOP Senator on Going After Judge Merchan’s Family

Fox News fill-in host Benjamin Hall confronted Senator Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, on Sunday about going after Judge Juan Merchan’s family outside of former President Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial.

Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, became the first former president in U.S. history to stand trial in a criminal case last month. Following an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, Trump was indicted in March 2023 on 34 counts of falsifying business records relating to hush money paid to adult film starStormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign. Daniels had alleged she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which he has denied. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all charges and said the case against him is politically motivated.

On Thursday, Scott, a longtime friend and ally of Trump, showed up at the former president’s trial in a show of support and later bashed the daughter of Merchan, the judge who is overseeing Trump’s hush money case.

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

Rick Scott
Senator Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on May 1 in Washington, D.C. Fox News fill-in host Benjamin Hall confronted Scott on Sunday about going after Judge Juan…

Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

Hall, a Fox News correspondent who was filling in for Shannon Bream on Fox News Sunday, asked Scott, “Why did you decide to join the president this week in court and then purposely go after the judge’s family?”

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

The Florida senator then doubled down on his comments about Merchan’s daughter, Loren Merchan.

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

Democrats, meanwhile, deny that there is an effort to target Trump and say that the former president is being treated like any other American who has allegedly committed crimes.

Newsweek reached out to Scott’s office and Trump’s spokesperson via email for comment.

Who Is Loren Merchan?

According to a June 2022 wedding announcement in Politico, Loren Merchan was the president and partner of Authentic Campaigns, a progressive political consulting firm.

Authentic Campaigns has listed Vice President Kamala Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign, Kamala Harris for the People, the Biden-Harris campaign and California Representative Adam Schiff’s super Political Action Committee (PAC) as clients.

Loren Merchan was also listed as the director of digital persuasion for the “Kamala Harris for the People” campaign in an archived January 2019 announcement.

Under her name and title was a blurb about her previous work, which included vice president and director of digital advertising at Authentic Campaigns.

In March, Merchan imposed a gag order on Trump that barred him from publicly commenting on certain people involved in the case including potential witnesses and jurors and excluding Merchan, himself, and Bragg. However, after Trump made a series of social media attacks on Loren Merchan, Judge Merchan had the order expanded to protect his family and Bragg’s family.