Judge in Trump Trial Faces Corruption Allegations

Judge Arthur Engoron, who oversaw the trial against former President Donald Trump for civil fraud, is now himself under investigation, after receiving unsolicited advice from a well known New York real estate attorney, according to NBC New York.

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The controversial left-wing judge found Trump, two of his sons, his business associates, and the Trump Organization guilty and fined the former president $454 million for falsely inflating his assets.

Real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey admitted to NBC last week that he gave unsolicited advice to Engoron, three weeks before he made his decision on the case, which is strictly forbidden by law.

“I actually had the ability to speak to him three weeks ago,” Bailey told reporters on February 16, the same day as Engoron’s final decision.

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the state’s judicial oversight body, is now investigating the matter, NBC New York reported.

“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,” according to the New York State Rules of Judicial Conduct.

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However, the rules allow an exception for getting the advice of a neutral expert.

“A judge may obtain the advice of a disinterested expert on the law applicable to a proceeding before the judge if the judge gives notice to the parties …and affords the parties reasonable opportunity to respond.”

“The decision Justice Engoron issued February 16 was his alone, was deeply considered, and was wholly uninfluenced by this individual,” the spokesman added.

Bailey told NBC that he asked the judge to make the correct ruling, as a massive fine against the Trump Organization would cause harm to the New York economy. 

The attorney said he advised Engoron that the anti-fraud law used to go after Trump was not meant for terminating the operations of a major company, particularly in a case with no victims.

Engoron concurred with Democrat New York Attorney General Letitia James in his ruling that Trump overvalued his assets, allowing him to receive favorable loans, which affected the marketplace.

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Bailey, who claims he is not a supporter of Trump, said he had no connection to any of the cases against the former president, but has previously litigated in front of Engoron “hundreds of times” and the judge usually “had a lot of questions, you know, about certain cases” in their private discussions.

Bailey told NBC that the two of them did not do anything wrong, since they only spoke about the law.

“We didn’t even mention the word Donald Trump,” said Bailey, adding: “Well, obviously we weren’t talking about the Mets.”

Christopher Kise, an attorney on the former president’s legal team, told NBC New York: “The code doesn’t provide an exception for ‘well, this was a small conversation’ or ‘well, it didn’t really impact me’.…The code is very clear.”

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