New York Judicial Conduct Commission investigating Trump judge's conversation with high-profile lawyer

 May 11, 2024

It seems as though many of the judges overseeing former President Donald Trump's cases either appear to be anti-Trump or have questionable histories indicating as such. 

According to the Daily Mail, Judge Arthur Engoron, the judge who presided over Trump's New York civil fraud case earlier this year, is now "under investigation" regarding "unsolicited advice" from a high-profile lawyer prior to his bombshell ruling that cost Trump $454 million in a judgment.

The high-profile lawyer in question, Adam Leitman Bailey, reportedly spoke to Engoron just three weeks before the historic fine was levied, telling the judge to "get it right."

It was also reported that Bailey was "not a fan" of Trump's.

What's going on?

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct is reportedly investigating Bailey's alleged talk with Engoron to see if it violated any existing rules as far as conversations judges can have prior to such rulings.

Bailey, who has reportedly litigated in front of Engoron "hundreds of times," previously admitted on the day of Engoron's infamous ruling that he wanted the familiar judge to "get it right."

"I saw him in the corner [at the courthouse] and I told my client, 'I need to go.' And I walked over and we started talking … I wanted him to know what I think and why…I really want him to get it right," Bailey reportedly said.

The Daily Mail noted:

He claims he told Engoron to get the judgement right because a ruling levying such a heavy fine against Trump could damage New York's economy.

Bailey even claimed that Engoron 'had a lot of questions, you know, about certain cases' when they spoke.

Obviously due to the bad optics of such claims, Engoron's camp strongly denied such conversations and said the judge was "wholly uninfluenced" by Bailey's words.

"No ex parte conversation concerning this matter occurred between Justice Engoron and Mr. Bailey or any other person. The decision Justice Engoron issued February 16 was his alone, was deeply considered, and was wholly uninfluenced by this individual," his office said.

Broken rules?

The New York State Rules of Judicial Conduct makes clear that judges, with few exceptions, are not allowed to have such conversations prior to a ruling.

"A judge shall not initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications, or consider other communications made to the judge outside the presence of the parties or their lawyers," the comission's rules state.

The state commission will now investigate if Engoron violated that rule based on Bailey's statements.

It'll be interesting to see what happens if Engoron is found to have violated the code, but unfortunately, the investigation could take anywhere from several months to more than a year.

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