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Trump judge and his family receive threats after New York arrest

Judge Juan Merchan, his family and the Manhattan court where Trump was arraigned Tuesday have already received numerous threats, sources told NBC News.
Judge Juan Merchan at his office in New York
Judge Juan Merchan at his office in New York in October. Ahmed Gaber / The New York Times via Redux file

In the 24 hours since former President Donald Trump’s arraignment, the presiding judge and his family have received multiple threats, two sources familiar with the matter said.

One official said “dozens” of threats have recently been directed at Judge Juan Merchan and his chambers but did not give an exact time frame for them.

The other source said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and other top officials in his office continue to receive threats. The threats have been in the form of calls, emails and letters.

The New York police detail assigned to the DA's office is providing extra security to all affected staff members. Court officers, meanwhile, are boosting security for the judge and the court as a whole as a precaution.

Other steps have been taken, as well. Online bios of employees at the Manhattan district attorney’s office were recently removed from the DA’s website, according to a source familiar with the matter, because of troubling posts on social media, including Trump’s Truth Social platform.

Judge Juan Merchan, far right, addresses former President Donald Trump, far left, regarding his rights and requirements, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in a Manhattan courtroom in New York. Defense attorney Joseph Tacopina, center, looked on.
Judge Juan Merchan, far right, addresses former President Donald Trump, far left, in New York on Tuesday.Elizabeth Williams / via AP

Trump and his allies have publicly criticized Merchan and his family, including his adult daughter.

Ahead of his court appearance Tuesday, Trump blasted Merchan on his Truth Social account as a "highly partisan judge" and said the judge and his family are "Trump haters." In the post, Trump said, "HIS DAUGHTER WORKED FOR ‘KAMALA’ & NOW THE BIDEN-HARRIS CAMPAIGN.”

The former president's adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, also posted links to stories from conservative outlets focusing on Merchan’s daughter’s employment.

Asked about remarks Donald Trump and others made about Merchan and his family, a spokesperson for the state court system said Merchan has no comment.

Merchan's daughter was listed during the 2020 election cycle as the president of Authentic Campaigns, a firm Vice President Kamala Harris used for digital fundraising and advertising during her presidential campaign. She was also listed as the president and a partner of Authentic Campaigns in a 2020 post on its website. Authentic Campaigns identifies itself as “a digital agency progressives can trust to get the job done right.”

Federal campaign finance reports show that Authentic has worked with a variety of Democratic groups, including Harris’ presidential campaign and Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

There’s no available evidence to suggest that Merchan's daughter has done any subsequent work for Biden and no evidence to suggest that she “now” works for a Biden political operation.

Authentic did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump was arraigned Tuesday on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments made in 2016.

Follow live updates on the aftermath of Trump’s arrest

Asked by NBC News whether Trump’s re-election campaign is concerned that his direct attacks on Bragg and Merchan hurt his legal efforts, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said Wednesday in a statement: “The Constitution guarantees impartial process and free speech. President Trump is laying out all the facts. Facts matter.”

Last month, Bragg received a letter containing a death threat and white powder. The FBI and New York police have said they were investigating.

The letter, addressed to Bragg, said, “ALVIN: I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!” the sources said. It contained a small amount of white powder.