A top Republican congresswoman has hit New York Justice Arthur F. Engoron with an ethics complaint due to alleged politicking for the Democratic Party while being a justice of the New York Supreme Court. Engoron ruled in September that the Trump Organization and its associated entities had overinflated the value of numerous properties under its auspices to receive special tax and insurance benefits.
He currently is overseeing a bench trial to consider New York Attorney General Letitia James’ suit demanding a $250 million judgment against Trump’s empire and its liquidation in the State of New York. James ran for office in 2018 promising to investigate Trump.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who serves as GOP conference chair, alleges in her complaint that Engoron, who was first appointed to the court in 2013, has a track record of violating judicial ethics. Stefanik is convinced that Engoron’s handling of Donald Trump’s business fraud case is rooted in political partisanship.
Stefanik: Engoron’s Bias Has No Place in Judicial System
“This judge’s bizarre behavior has no place in our judicial system, where Judge Engoron is not honoring the defendant’s rights to due process and a fair trial. These serious concerns are exacerbated by the fact that the defendant is the leading candidate for President of the United States, and it appears the judicial system is being politicized to affect the outcome of the campaign,” Stefanik’s complaint said.
New York’s Code of Judicial Conduct notes, “A judge shall be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence in it. A judge shall not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor or fear of criticism.”
It also notes that, “Neither a sitting judge nor a candidate for public election to judicial office shall directly or indirectly engage in any political activity … participating in any political campaign for any office or permitting his or her name to be used in connection with any activity of a political organization.”
Stefanik alleges that Engoron violated these rules.
“Judge Engoron and his staff are partisan Democrat donors. As recently as 2018, Judge Engoron donated to the Manhattan Democrats – even though Section 100.5 says that judges ‘shall refrain’ from ‘making a contribution to a political organization,’” Stefanik writes in her complaint to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. “Section 100.5 also stipulates that a ‘judge shall prohibit members of the judge’s staff’ from contributing more than $500 ‘in the aggregate during any calendar year to all political campaigns for political office.’ Allison Greenfield has served as Judge Engoron’s principal law clerk since 2019. In both 2022 and 2023, Greenfield donated. … As recently as 2018, Judge Engoron donated to the Manhattan Democrats–even though Section 100.5 says that judges ‘shall refrain’ from ‘making a contribution to a political organization in excess of $500 to political campaigns.’”
The congresswoman continues, “In 2022 alone, Greenfield donated “$3,335 in political donations to Democrat candidates and causes.”She’s already given more than $1,000 in 2023 to campaigns. When President Trump’s attorneys notified Judge Engoron, Judge Engoron responded by issuing an illegal gag order against President Trump’s legal team.”
Engoron slapped a gag order on Trump after he ridiculed Greenfield as Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer’s “girlfriend” when a picture surfaced showing her with the senator. He then slapped Trump with a $5,000 fine because the campaign continued to circulate the graphic after he imposed the order. Then he hit Trump with a $10,000 fine.
Engoron Must Recuse Himself
Trump has repeatedly defied the gag order. He continued to attack Engoron and James as partisans who are out to get him.
“Judge Engoron must recuse from this case,” Stefanik wrote. “This case is so much bigger than President Donald J. Trump. If Judge Engoron can railroad a billionaire New York businessman, a former President of the United States, and the leading presidential candidate, just imagine what he could do to all New Yorkers. Judge Engoron’s lawlessness sends an ominous and illegal warning to New York business owners: If New York judges don’t like your politics, they will destroy your business, the livelihood of your employees, and you personally. This Commission cannot let this continue.”
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.