Rep. Stefanik files ethics complaint against NY Judge Engoron

by WorldTribune Staff, November 10, 2023

Judge Arthur Engoron has displayed “inappropriate bias” and “judicial intemperance,” New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik charged in a complaint sent to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Stefanik expressed “serious concerns” about Engoron’s handling of the fraud trial of former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization.

In the Nov. 10 complaint, Stefanik wrote that the “bizarre behavior” of Judge Arthur Engoron “has no place in our judicial system,”

New York Attorney General Letitia James claims that Trump defrauded the state by artificially inflating his net worth. A week before the trial, Engoron granted the attorney general’s office a summary judgment in their favor, finding Trump liable for fraud.

Related: Unreported: Naked selfies by Judge Art Engoron; Fulton County sheriff’s gay porn side hustle, November 7, 2023

James is asking for $250 million in damages and to bar the former president and other Trump Organization executives from doing business in the state for five years.

Trump wrote in a social media post: “Judge Engoron just did whatever the Corrupt Attorney General told him to do, a puppet, including using Valuations so LOW that they are Fraudulent. HE & LETITIA JAMES COMMITTED THE FRAUD, I DIDN’T. He Valued Mar-a-Lago at $18,000,000 in order to make me look guilty of Fraud, when it is worth 50 to 100 times that amount. Now he’s trying to say that he didn’t really say that, but he put it down in writing in his Opinion. Judicial and Prosecutorial Misconduct!”

Trump’s attorneys have accused Engoron of bias, saying the judge often allows the prosecution to ask questions he overrules for the defense, among other issues.

During the trial, Trump made a comment about an unnamed “partisan” person sitting “alongside” the judge, prompting Engoron to issue a $10,000 fine in what he believed was a violation of a gag order imposed by the judge.

Stefanik said such speech was “core political speech” protected by the First Amendment: “If anyone in America must have the constitutional right to speak out against the judge, his staff, the witnesses, or the process, it’s a defendant going through a process he believes is politicized and weaponized against him.”

Stefanik stated that Engoron and his staff are Democrat donors, and the judge himself made a political contribution in 2018, which is against the rules of conduct. His principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, has also made political contributions of $3,335 over 2022 and 2023. The rules state that judges should prevent their staff from contributing to political campaigns more than $500 in any calendar year.

Stefanik also noted that Trump is a leading candidate for the presidency:

“It appears the judicial system is being politicized to affect the outcome of the campaign,” she wrote. “Judge Engoron has displayed a clear judicial bias against the defendant throughout the case, breaking several rules in the New York Code of Judicial Conduct.”

Stefanik is calling for the commission to sanction Engoron to “bring back credibility to our great state’s legal system.”

In the complaint, Stefanik listed several instances she believed pointed to bias by Engoron, beginning a year ago, before the trial, when the judge told Trump’s attorney that Trump was “just a bad guy.”

She also accused the judge of ignoring an appellate court’s ruling that set a statute of limitations on the case; smiling for the pool cameras; and the summary judgment he made before the trial began.

“And Judge Engoron has made it crystal clear he doesn’t care what the defendant or his attorneys have to say,” Stefanik added, including a snapshot of just a few of the blows exchanged between defense attorneys and the judge, which were especially pronounced the day Trump testified.

While on the witness stand, Trump gave long and detailed answers about his properties, which the judge seemed not to like. Engoron told Trump’s lawyers to “control” their client, and when attorney Chris Kise tried to explain the “extraordinary circumstances” they were in that might warrant these detailed answered, the judge said he was “not here to listen to what you [President Trump] have to say.”

Justice Engoron told defense attorney Alina Habba, “I am not here to hear what he has to say, now sit down!” when she protested, and when Kise said he would file a motion for directed verdict, the judge said, “You better not, Chris!”

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