Stefanik Calls Out NY Trial Judge for Unprofessional Conduct
New York State Representative Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican leader, has filed an ethics complaint against Judge Arthur Engoron, the presiding judge in the high-profile civil trial against former President Donald Trump's business organization. The trial, which is taking place in a New York City courthouse, has been the subject of intense media scrutiny and political attention.
In a letter to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, Representative Stefanik accused Judge Engoron of exhibiting "bias" and "bizarre behavior" in the courtroom. She expressed her concerns over the judge's handling of the case, stating that it has "no place in our justice system" and is "not honoring the defendant's rights to due process and a fair trial."
The trial, brought by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, is addressing allegations that Trump and his family knowingly misrepresented the value of their real estate holdings over the years. It has seen the former president and his three adult children take the stand to testify, making it a historic event.
I just filed an official judicial complaint against Judge Arthur Engoron for his inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance in New York’s disgraceful lawsuit against President Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization.
Americans are sick and tired of the blatant… pic.twitter.com/5HRzSle2LV
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) November 10, 2023
Stefanik, a staunch Trump ally, cited incidents such as the judge's allegedly biased behavior at the start of the trial, when he was seen smiling in the courtroom as cameras were allowed in. She also criticized Engoron's decision to impose a limited gag order on Trump and his lawyers, citing threats to himself and his staff.
The representative also took issue with Engoron's valuation of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, which was appraised at a low range of $18 to $27.6 million. Stefanik stated that this is yet another example of the judge's "bad judgment" in handling the case, and suggested that it should have been given to expert judges in the Commercial Division.
Furthermore, Stefanik accused Engoron of politicizing the trial, stating that his actions are making "New York's judicial system a laughingstock." She also raised concerns about potential collusion between the judge and Attorney General James, as Trump has alleged on his social media app Truth Social.
When asked for comment, the Commission Administrator stated that all matters before the Commission are confidential until a judge is found to have committed ethical misconduct and a decision is issued.
Meanwhile, the New York State Unified Court System has yet to respond to a request for comment.
The trial and public scrutiny surrounding it have highlighted the divisive and polarizing nature of former President Trump's legacy. As the trial continues, it remains to be seen how Representative Stefanik's ethics complaint will be addressed and what impact it may have on the outcome of the case.