Judge delays decision on Trump’s graduation request

Judge delays decision on Trump's graduation request

Former President Donald Trump asked the judge not to start court hearings on May 17, the day of his youngest son’s high school graduation, on the opening day of his criminal fraud trial in New York. The judge stated he would rather wait to make a decision on the request and did not rule on it. However, the Trump family and conservative commentators falsely attacked New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan for forbidding or prohibiting the defendant from attending Barron Trump’s graduation from Oxbridge Academy in Palm Beach, Florida, based on the former president’s ambiguous and contradictory remarks about his request.

Trump’s graduation from west point

“Judge Merchan is truly heartless in not letting a father attend his son’s graduation,” commented Eric Trump, another of the former president’s sons, on X. Trump Jr. described it as “pure evil.” Trump is accused of fabricating corporate documents to cover up a $130,000 hush-money payment to a porn actress and unlawfully influencing the 2016 presidential election. He is the first former US president to go on trial in a criminal case.

About a month before his youngest son Barron graduated from a high school close to Mar-a-Lago, his trial in New York began on April 15. The famous photo of the Marines was taken at a benefit for veteran suicide, not a Trump rally. Merchan did not, however, state that Trump would face jail time if he attended the graduation ceremony. Instead, according to several public sources, the court postponed the judgment and did not provide any form of verdict about that request.

Request for correction or review

Attorney Todd Blanche requested that Merchan postpone the jury selection process until May 17 in order for Trump to attend the graduation. According to the newspaper, Merchant did not explicitly reject the motion; instead, he stated that he would not rule “at this time” and that he could not grant the request in the event that the trial ran past schedule. According to the Associated Press, Merchan stated he would be prepared to adjourn for one or both days, but he would not decide on the motions right away. 

Trump and one of his attorneys both have children who will graduate shortly. According to Merchan, “it really depends on how we’re doing on time and where we are in the trial,” the AP said. On a different occasion, though, Merchan denied Trump’s request to be excused from the trial so that he could attend the Supreme Court’s arguments on presidential immunity on April 25 in Washington, D.C., according to The Hill.

Judicial evaluation

Unless the court grants permission, criminal defendants in New York state law are required to attend their whole trial. Although New York law bars such punishments at 20 years, Trump is facing 34 felony charges, each of which carries a maximum penalty of four years. Legal experts estimate that, in the event of a conviction, Trump might get a term of probation to four years in jail; however, he would most likely be released on appeal for the length of the presidential election. On social media, Trump’s legal troubles have given rise to a substantial volume of false information. A few of the falsehoods refuted by the USA include the claims that Trump faced legal action for repaying a loan, that he proposed a Supreme Court nomination to the judge supervising his case involving classified documents, and that his attorney proposed a $10 million bribe to the New York judge handling his real estate fraud case.

Submission of the request

Trump is accused of fabricating financial documents in order to conceal claims of extramarital relationships from the public during the 2016 presidential campaign. (For further information, check our post “Q&A on Trump’s New York Grand Jury Indictment.”) Following the conclusion of the trial’s first day, Trump gave a brief speech in front of the TV crews outside the courthouse. Trump began by saying that he thought it improbable that the court would allow him to attend the graduation and that he might have cause to believe such to be the case. Merchan, after all, turned down Trump’s plea for an April 25 court vacation to allow him to hear oral arguments before the US Supreme Court about a case involving one of his federal criminal cases. On that day, the supreme court will consider Trump’s request for presidential immunity from federal prosecution on allegations that he tried to tamper with the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.


In conclusion, Trump’s later contradictory remarks on Truth Social further complicated the issue. Trump stated in his letter that he will “probably not be allowed to attend” Barron’s graduation, presumably in light of the judge’s decision on the Supreme Court hearing. Subsequently, he erroneously said in another tweet that he is “not allowed to attend my son Barron’s high school graduation.”


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