GOP lawmaker files complaint against NY judge overseeing Trump's civil fraud trial

 November 11, 2023

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has filed an ethics complaint against Judge Arthur Engoron, NBC News reports

Engoron is the New York judge who is overseeing the civil fraud trial that New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) has brought against Trump. This is the case in which James alleges that Trump overvalued his assets in financial documents.

Stefanik, the number three Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, filed the ethics complaint against Engoron on Friday, Nov. 10, submitting it to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

The complaint

In the ethics complaint, Stefanik accuses Engoron of "clear judicial bias."

"I write today to express my serious concerns about the inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance shown by Judge Arthur F. Engoron in New York’s lawsuit against President Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization," Stefanik writes.

She continues, "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."

In the letter, Stefanik goes on to cite examples of Engoron's behavior.

Stefanik highlights everything from the gag order Engoron imposed on Trump to the very low financial valuation that Engoron gave to Trump's estate - Mar-a-Lago - to even the way Engoron infamously smiled at the cameras at the beginning of the trial.

What now?

The commission will investigate Stefanik's complaint.

Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian has put out a statement, saying, "All matters before the Commission on Judicial Conduct are confidential according to law, unless and until a judge is found to have committed ethical misconduct, and a decision to that effect is issued."

It is probably unlikely that Engoron will face any penalty, or, for that matter, to even be deemed to have committed an ethics violation.

The fact is that this has been going on for weeks, and, Engoron's behavior, at times, has been egregious. Yet, he has been allowed to continue.

Considering this, it seems unlikely Stefanik's ethics complaint will get anywhere.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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