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Legal Expert Warns Judge Engoron For ‘Pushing the Envelope’ In Trump Fraud Trial

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


While presiding over the $250 million civil fraud trial of former president Donald Trump, legal expert and former counsel for the House Judiciary Committee Michael Conway is advising New York Judge Arthur Engoron on his language and conduct.

Reminding “Engoron that the defendants in the notorious case went out of their way to antagonize Judge Julius Hoffman, which seems to be Donald Trump’s strategy in a case where Engoron has already found evidence of fraud,” Conway cited the trial of the so-called “Chicago 7” in an MSNBC column, as Raw Story pointed out.

Conway went on to say that the profanity will definitely be brought up in an appeal and that Engoron had several disagreements with Trump’s legal team and the former president while testifying.

“In New York, Engoron has used strident language in rejecting Trump’s legal positions, terming them ‘pure sophistry,’ ‘risible,’ ‘bogus arguments,’ and ‘egregious’ in his summary judgment opinion. He sanctioned five Trump attorneys for $7,500 each for the ‘borderline frivolous’ arguments in their briefs,” Conway wrote.

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“Harsh language isn’t a problem if it’s justified. But the more Engoron pushes the envelope, the more he risks an appellate court disagreeing with his assessment. And Trump’s lawyers can and will argue the judge’s rhetoric is evidence of judicial bias,” Conway added.

Conway added that “there are other examples of Engoron seemingly overreacting in response to relentless complaining from Trump’s lawyers” before noting: “He needs to take all necessary steps to ensure that a New York appellate court cannot overturn his decision. And that means not reacting to Trump’s hate-filled speech or to his lawyers’ baiting and provocation. It’s simply not worth it.”

Engoron used comparable language and referenced the judge’s aggressive demeanor when he denied Trump’s team’s request for a mistrial during the trial.

Judge Engoron denied the request made by Trump’s legal team because they believed the judge and his chief law clerk showed “appearance of bias” against the president.

Officials from the state “advocated for” the motion, but Engoron shot it down, calling it “utterly without merit” and saying it would be “futile” to proceed with the full briefing schedule.

His chief law clerk, Allison Greenfield, had been interrogated by the former president regarding her previous contributions to Democratic candidates. She and his own deeds were both defended by Engoron.

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“When an online publication mentions a graduate, including myself, I include an excerpt and/or a link, usually both,” Engoron noted in his ruling. “Consequently, I have been the subject of entries concerning this case due to its undeniable newsworthiness.”

“However, I neither wrote nor contributed to any of the articles on which defendants focus, and no reasonable reader could possibly think otherwise,” he added.

Concerning Greenfield, the motion filed by her defense counsel alluded to her “partisan political contributions” to anti-Trump groups and candidates, which they asserted were “in excess of strict limits” of $500 annually.

Furthermore, he denied that her participation in political gatherings “sponsored by certain organizations” meant that she and I were jointly responsible for the views and policies of those groups.

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Engoron “pauses to consult with her on the bench” before he “rules on most issues,” according to Trump’s lawyers, who further cited Greenfield’s “unprecedented role” in the trial.

His “contemporaneous written notes” are another source he consults. Because of this, they claim she seems to be “co-judging” the trial.

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