Former President Donald Trump's legal team suggested on Friday that they may pursue a mistrial in the civil suit brought by the state of New York against Trump, in light of a report from Breitbart News. According to the report, it appears that New York County Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron's top clerk, Allison Greenfield, may have violated judicial rules by making excessive political donations.
During the court proceedings, Trump's counsel, Christopher Kise, brought up the news article from Breitbart News, stating that it raises questions of impartiality. He added that the defense will have to seriously consider seeking a mistrial. This comes after Engoron placed a gag order on Trump regarding Greenfield and has fined him twice for violating the gag order.
The news of Greenfield's potential violations came to light in a 72-page complaint filed with the court and the New York State Bar Association. The complaint alleges that Greenfield made several political donations in 2022 that exceeded the $500 limit for court officials.
A clerk for the judge who is trying to unconstitutionally silence President Trump donated more than six times the max annual allowance for court officials to Democrats. Witch hunt! https://t.co/h9sohPx4MT
— Jim Banks (@Jim_Banks) November 3, 2023
Engoron quickly dismissed the allegations, stating that they were merely "an allegation" and that nobody had informed him of Greenfield's donations. However, the donations made by Greenfield can be found in the New York elections database and total several thousand dollars.
In response to the news report, Engoron seemed to become frustrated and dismissed the source, saying, "I'll let everyone in the room think what they will about Breitbart." There were also audible scoffs in the courtroom when it was revealed that the defense was referencing a Breitbart News report.
The donations made by Greenfield include contributions to various Democratic clubs and candidates, including the Four Freedoms Democratic Club, Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, West Side Democrats, Inc., and Village Independent Democrats. These donations were made in 2022 alone, with Greenfield also giving to the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, New York County Democratic Committee, and others in previous years.
Trump allies have voiced their disapproval of Engoron and Greenfield's actions, with Senator J.D. Vance calling it a "disgrace," and former prosecutor Abe Hamadeh stating that their "bias is blatant" and can lead to the destruction of the rule of law.
Justice Engoron threatened to expand Trump gag order after Trumps attorney, Christopher Kise, raised objections to ‘note passing’ between the judge and his legal aide, Allison Greenfield.@ContinentalPllc @AlinaHabba @EricTrump@realDonaldTrump 🥊 pic.twitter.com/83oiqJc53W
— Joni Job (@jj_talking) November 3, 2023
This latest development adds to the ongoing legal battle between Trump and the state of New York. The civil suit, filed by the state's Attorney General, seeks to hold Trump and his family accountable for alleged financial mismanagement of the Trump Foundation charity. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and his legal team has been actively fighting the case.
As the legal proceedings continue, the defense will have to decide whether to pursue a mistrial based on the revelations about Greenfield's potential violations. This could potentially impact the outcome of the case, as impartiality is crucial in any legal proceeding.