Trump asks New York civil fraud judge to recuse himself

 June 21, 2024

Attorneys for former President Trump have submitted a fresh motion in the civil fraud lawsuit that he is currently facing in New York, as Fox News reported.

The former president is still fighting against what he considers his sham conviction for campaign finance in his home state.

The move asserts that the judge engaged in "prohibited communications" and that he ought to remove himself from the case.

The former president has submitted his motion to the Supreme Court of New York State. As could be expected, the legal representatives for Trump accused the judge of conduct that would indeed, if true, be an egregious violation of judicial standards.

Trump's Attorney's Action

According to Trump's attorney, the actions of the judge are, "fundamentally incompatible with the responsibilities attendant to donning the black robe and sitting in judgment."

The action in question was when the judge allegedly had a conversation with New York City real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey about the case.

The conversation was reportedly "regarding the merits of this case, the permissible scope of the New York State Attorney General’s and this Court’s own authority under Executive Law… and the consequences of this Court’s decision on business in the State.

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"The New York Code of Judicial Conduct exists to ensure that litigants are afforded a fair and impartial trial. 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.

"It is clear that Judge Engoron should recuse himself immediately," Alina Habba, spokesperson for Trump, said in a statement.

Bailey allegedly told ABC in an interview that he had attempted to counsel Engoron weeks prior to the judge's ruling, as stated in the document.

"Although Mr. Bailey claims that President Trump was not mentioned by name in the conversation, when asked whether ‘it was obvious that [his] input was related to this case,’ Mr. Bailey stated ‘well[,] obviously we weren’t talking about the Mets,’" the filing says.

Disapproval Filtering Down

The judge expressed his disapproval of Trump's conduct throughout the trial, stating that he "rarely responded to the questions asked, and he frequently interjected long, irrelevant speeches on issues that were far beyond the scope of the trial."

As stated by the court spokesperson in the ABC report referenced in the filing:

"[N]o 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."

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