WATCH: CNN Hosts Get Brutal Reality Check From Republican Guest

CNN continues to face the harsh reality that Donald Trump is not fading from the political scene; in fact, he is gaining grassroots support. In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Tiffany Smiley, a vocal supporter and political figure aligned with Republican interests, offered a harsh perspective on the current judicial proceedings involving the former president.

Smiley’s comments were emblematic of the growing sentiment that the legal actions against Trump, especially in the hush money case, are politically motivated, a view seemingly shared by nearly half of the American populace.

“Donald Trump just had his largest, biggest small-dollar donations in March. The American people are waking up to the fact, and they’re seeing and feeling, they believe that our judicial system is sort of rigged against Donald Trump,” Smiley explained on CNN.

The discussion took a more critical turn when addressing the involvement of Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the hush money case. Smiley and the hosts examined the judge’s familial connections, particularly that Merchan’s daughter has been involved in fundraising activities with campaigns that include rhetoric about incarcerating Trump.

“His daughter raises money for Adam Schiff and Kamala Harris using the ploy that we will lock up Donald Trump,” Smiley said.


Loren, the daughter of Judge Juan Merchan, reportedly made approximately $150,000 while working as a Special Assistant to Attorney General Letitia James previously, the DA prosecuting the former president.

Trump had previously insinuated that Loren Merchan, the judge’s daughter, has tainted the case through her work lobbying on behalf of Democratic clients like Congressman and Senate candidate Adam Schiff (D-CA), who obtained at least $93 million in donations from appeals about Trump’s various cases.

The narrative of a “rigged system” against Trump has not only galvanized his supporter base but also fueled skepticism about the objectivity of the judiciary.

On Tuesday, Trump got an unfortunate update in his “hush money” case in Manhattan centered around charges levied by District Attorney Alvin Bragg. An appeals court judge in New York denied Trump’s request to delay his trial over hush money payments.

While Kern ruled against Trump, he had the opportunity to appeal to a full panel of five appellate court judges. However, it’s highly unlikely that the court will be able to take action before the trial starts on Monday. At that point, Trump will become the first former U.S. president to face criminal prosecution.

On Tuesday prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office made the case for maintaining the gag order as well. The order bars Trump from making disparaging remarks about witnesses, the prosecution, and the family of the judge.


Trump had asked the court to push back the April 15 trial date while the Supreme Court reviews his claims of presidential immunity. Last Wednesday, Manhattan Judge Juan Merchan rejected the former president’s request, referring to it as “untimely.”

“This Court finds that Defendant had myriad opportunities to raise the claim of presidential immunity well before March 7, 2024,” Merchan wrote. “Defendant could have done so in his omnibus motions on September 29, 2023, which were filed a mere six days before he briefed the same issue in his Federal Insurrection Matter and several months after he brought his motion for removal to federal court on May 4, 2023.” Merchan noted in his ruling that pre-trial motions are supposed to be filed within 45 days of arraignment. The former president was arraigned in Bragg’s case last April. Merchan also said that the fact that Trump had waited until “a mere 17 days prior to the scheduled trial date of March 25, 2024, to file the motion, raises real questions about the sincerity and actual purpose of the motion.”

The 34 charges, brought forward by DA Bragg, accuse Trump of falsifying business records linked to hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels, the former adult film star. The case centers on an alleged $130,000 payment arranged by Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to allegedly ensure Daniels’ silence about an alleged affair before the 2016 campaign.