HomeCrimeTrump fires back in lawsuit against Justice Arthur Engoron

Trump fires back in lawsuit against Justice Arthur Engoron

Christopher Kise, Donald Trump, and Alina Habba in court

Former President Donald Trump sits between his lawyers Christopher Kise, left, and Alina Habba during his civil fraud trial at the State Supreme Court building in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP). Inset: Judge Arthur Engoron presides over former President Donald Trump’s civil business fraud trial at New York Supreme Court, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023, in New York. (Spencer Platt/Pool Photo via AP)

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump reasserted on Monday that the gag orders issued by his New York civil fraud trial judge were “unconstitutional” and should remain stayed until a lawsuit against the presiding jurist is resolved.

Writing in the reply that Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron abused his authority to silence protected speech and punish the same with sanctions, Trump’s attorneys accused the judge of “brazen” violations of the U.S. Constitution and New York’s Constitution.

“Petitioners moved for a stay of further enforcement of the Gag Orders in an attempt to redress Justice Engoron’s brazen and unmitigated violations of the United States Constitution, the New York State Constitution, the Judiciary Law, and the Rules of this Court,” the memo said. “The notion that an openly and overtly partisan individual would have any role in the decision-making process of this unprecedented case runs squarely counter to the foundational principles of American judicial independence and the Constitutional guarantee of a fair trial.”

The latest Trump filing was a response to two oppositions submitted last week on behalf of Engoron and New York Attorney General Letitia James (D). On Nov. 16, Trump sued Engoron and James under Article 78 in an effort to undo the jurist’s gag orders against both the former president and his lawyers.

Those high-profile orders barred the parties in the case from verbally attacking the judge’s court staff, especially Engoron’s Principal Law Clerk Allison Greenfield, and prohibited Trump attorneys Christopher Kise, Clifford Robert, and Alina Habba from “making any public statements, in or out of court, that refer to any confidential communications, in any form, between [the judge’s] staff and [the judge].”

The former president posted a photo of Greenfield on Truth Social in early October, referring to Engoron’s clerk as Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer’s “girlfriend” and claiming that she was “running this case against me.” The judge responded to that post with a gag order.

Trump lawyers said, however, that it is the judge who has undermined the “rule of law.”

“In sum, the Gag Orders shield Justice Engoron and his openly partisan clerk from the precise scrutiny essential to maintaining public confidence in the judiciary and ensuring a fair trial,” Trump’s lawyers reiterated Monday. “Supreme Court has ignored with impunity clear, and troubling, evidence of partisan political bias and, in so doing, undermined, perhaps irreparably, the rule of law.”

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