Trump Seeks Recusal of NY Judge in Civil Fraud Case

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Donald Trump, the former President, has once again demanded the recusal of New York Judge Arthur Engoron from his ongoing civil fraud case.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has responded by expressing her belief that Engoron should not step down from the case, as reported by WNBC.

The recent controversy stems from a disclosure made by local real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey, who admitted to discussing the legal aspects of the civil fraud case with Judge Engoron prior to the issuance of the verdict.

This admission has raised concerns about potential violations of judicial conduct rules in New York and has prompted an investigation.

Last week, Axios disclosed that Trump’s legal team submitted a motion requesting Judge Engoron’s withdrawal from the case due to allegations of “prohibited communications” with a real estate attorney.

These communications should have been shared with everyone else but were not.

“It is beyond dispute that neither Defendants nor the Attorney General were present during the purported communication with Mr. Bailey,” Trump’s motion stated. “Nor did this Court ever notify either party that the purported communication took place, which would have at least permitted an opportunity for comment on the substance of the conversation, as conveyed by this Court.”

“Worse yet, Mr. Bailey’s account indicates that this Court not only permitted but welcomed such prohibited communication,” the filing continued, and further noted that Bailey, who previously sued Trump in 2010 over similar claims of fraudulently exaggerated property values, was not a “disinterested expert” on the law but rather had a “vested interest” in the ultimate outcome of the case.

Trump’s lawyers implored him to expedite an evidentiary hearing on the matter, unless Engoron recused himself.

WNBC reported that AG James’ motion in opposition to Trump’s recusal request for Judge Engoron said the allegation of impropriety “amounts to a hill of beans” and that there was “no evidence” that anything improper had occurred — regardless of the fact that Bailey himself twice admitted in live interviews that he spoke with the judge about the case while the trial was ongoing.

James’ filing said there were no indications that Engoron relied on anything that Bailey might have said to him, and stated, “At most, Bailey’s hallway encounter with the Court amounted to an abstract, wholly unprompted commentary about New York’s business fraud statute.”

The outlet noted that Trump’s motion cited reports of an investigation launched by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct into the alleged interaction between the judge and the outside attorney about the case, but James countered that “the mere pendency of an investigation would provide no basis to infer any appearance of impropriety.”

She added that the numerous media accounts regarding Bailey’s alleged encounter with Engoron were not pertinent to the recusal matter.

She stated that the decision on whether there is a perception of impropriety rests exclusively with Engoron’s personal judgment, as he is the focal point of the alleged impropriety.

Adding to the complexity, as reported by Law & Crime, Bailey has been uncooperative with attempts made by Trump’s lawyers to issue a subpoena for his records and testimony regarding the purported encounter with Judge Engoron, which he openly acknowledged on air at least twice.

Bailey and his own attorneys have moved to quash the subpoena from Trump’s team as an overly broad “fishing expedition” in search of “unknown documents that may or may not exist, concerning information which, by Defendants’ own statement of interest, is NOT related to” the alleged interaction with the judge.

“Defendants’ admission is clear confirmation that Defendants’ Subpoena seeks to probe for communications, which may or may not exist, but, which if they do exist, have no relationship to the Action or to Defendants’ motion of recusal,” Bailey’s motion stated. “The intended improper nature of Defendants’ demand could not be more apparent.”

ICYMI: WATCH: President Trump Weighs in On Joe Biden’s Disastrous Debate Performance




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