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Trump Demands Recusal of Judge Engoron After News of What He Did Outside the Courtroom Before Issuing $454 Million Penalty

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Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys have launched a new legal salvo against New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, who oversaw Trump’s fraud trial.

A court filing is calling upon Engoron to recuse himself from the case in light of an investigation by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct into a conversation between Engoron and a real estate lawyer that preceded Engoron’s issuance of a $454 million penalty ruling against Trump, according to WNBC-TV.

“The New York Code of Judicial Conduct exists to ensure that litigants are afforded a fair and impartial trial,” Alina Habba said in a statement, according to The Hill.

“Justice Engoron’s communications with Attorney Adam Leitman Bailey regarding the merits of this case, however, directly violate that code and demonstrate that Judge Engoron cannot serve as a fair arbiter,” she said.

Bailey, who revealed his conversation with Engoron in February, said he believed his published comments were “off the record” and said he “only discussed with the Judge the September Summary Judgment decision,” in which Engoron found Trump and his co-defendants liable for fraud concerning the value of Trump Organization properties.

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“I did not think that speaking to Judge Engoron about my own personal views of his already published decision was wrong in any way,” he said.

“I wanted him to know what I think and why…I really want him to get it right,” Bailey said, according to WNBC.

Bailey later said he and Engoron never mentioned the words “Donald Trump,” but when asked whether it was clear which case they discussed, replied, “Well, obviously we weren’t talking about the Mets.”

In their motion, the Trump legal team said WNBC’s reporting on Bailey’s public statements raises questions about outside influence on the judge.

Does Engoron need to step aside?

The filing said Engoron must recuse himself because “allegations have surfaced revealing this Court may have engaged in actions fundamentally incompatible with the responsibilities attendant to donning the black robe and sitting in judgment.

“Specifically, this Court has been publicly accused of engaging in prohibited communications regarding the merits of this case, in clear violation of the Code and this Court’s solemn oath,” the filing said.

“Moreover, to learn that this Court may well have disregarded basic ethical guidelines during the course of presiding over these notorious proceedings portends irreparable damage to the rule of law,” the filing said.

The filing said the pending investigation adds weight to the need for recusal.

“The gravity of these public allegations of potential misconduct is underscored by the fact that this Court, based upon public reporting, is also now apparently under investigation by the Commission on Judicial Conduct. Consequently, at minimum, the appearance of impropriety is manifest and mandates recusal.”

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The filing said the appearance of a conflict taints Engoron.

“While this Court has purportedly denied being influenced by Mr. Bailey, the appearance of impropriety engendered by Mr. Bailey’s apparent communications with this Court, its obfuscation until three months after entry of Judgment, and the pendency of a Commission investigation remains.

“Where, as here, this Court’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned under the circumstances, it must recuse. Indeed, there is no other means of dispelling the shadow that now looms over this Court’s impartiality, fairness, and ability to adhere to the Code,” the filing said.


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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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