The judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s fraud case in New York has come under scrutiny for his political affiliations. Judge Arthur Engoron, a lifelong Democrat, has contributed thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and committees over the past 25 years, according to campaign finance records. The revelations have sparked concerns about the impartiality of the judge in a case that could have major implications for Trump’s future.
Engoron, who drew criticism on Monday after appearing to pose for cameras during the trial, has contributed exclusively to Democrats throughout his legal career. His contributions include over $5,000 in donations to local Democratic Party committees, as well as to individual candidates like former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and former Governor David Paterson.
This partisan track record has raised questions about the objectivity of the judge, who has ultimate control over Trump’s legal fate. Engoron will not only preside over the case but will also determine guilt and sentencing, making him a pivotal figure in the proceedings. His ruling last week that no trial was needed to determine Trump’s guilt in consistently overstating the value of his assets has already dealt a major blow to the former president’s business interests in New York.
The prosecution in the case is now seeking a $250 million penalty, as well as a permanent ban on Trump doing business in the state. In response to Engoron’s actions, Trump has lashed out, calling him a “deranged, Trump-hating judge” who should be disbarred. During a break in the proceedings on Monday, Trump complained that Engoron had already made up his mind about the case.
Jonathan Turley is "surprised" to see Trump on camera in the courtroom.
"People looking at this picture right now will be either filled with rage or thrilled and that's a problem. They're insisting this trial occur during an election. Many people find it troubling." pic.twitter.com/fFfc4HtbHy
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) October 2, 2023
Trump’s supporters have also weighed in, arguing that the case is being driven by political motivations. The revelation of Engoron’s partisan contributions has only fueled allegations that the case is an attempt to punish Trump for his political beliefs. Some commentators have gone so far as to suggest that the New York justice system is being weaponized against political enemies.
Engoron’s decision to allow cameras in the courtroom has also been questioned, with some legal experts suggesting that it could undermine the fairness of the proceedings. The footage of Engoron smiling in court has further added to concerns that the judge is not taking the case seriously and could be biased against Trump.
The allegations of political bias have only added to the controversy surrounding the case, which many see as an attempt to punish Trump for his political views. As Trump prepares for a potential return to the political stage, this case and others like it are likely to remain a major point of contention. Engoron’s partisan track record will continue to be scrutinized, and if the case does not go in Trump’s favor, his supporters are likely to view it as further evidence of a politically motivated attack on their leader.