Trump Civil Fraud Judge’s Talks With Attorney Under Investigation By Ethics Commission: REPORT

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The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct is investigating an alleged interaction between a New York real estate lawyer and the judge who issued a $454 million judgement against former President Donald Trump, according to NBC New York.

Real estate lawyer Adam Leitman Bailey said he had a conversation with Judge Arthur Engoron a few weeks before the judge’s decision was due, NBC New York reported. Democratic Attorney General Letitia James of New York sued Trump in September 2022, alleging he overstated the value of real estate holdings in order to obtain loans. (RELATED: ‘So Infuriating I Don’t Even Know What To Do’: MSNBC Commentator Melts Down After Trump Bond Reduction)

“I actually had the ability to speak to him three weeks ago,” Bailey said in the Feb. 16 interview, according to NBC New York. “I saw him in the corner [at the courthouse] and I told my client, ‘I need to go.’ And I walked over and we started talking … I wanted him to know what I think and why…I really want him to get it right.”

“No ex parte conversation concerning this matter occurred between Justice Engoron and Mr. Bailey or any other person. The decision Justice Engoron issued February 16 was his alone, was deeply considered, and was wholly uninfluenced by this individual,” a spokesman for Engoron told NBC New York.

The New York State Rules of Judicial Conduct states that judges cannot “initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications, or consider other communications made to the judge outside the presence of the parties or their lawyers concerning a pending or impending proceeding,” with some exceptions. An “ex parte communication” is one in which a judge or member of the jury communicates with an outside party without all involved parties present, NBC New York reported.

“The Commission on Judicial Conduct is constrained by a strict confidentiality statute and has no comment on this matter,” Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

A New York appeals court judge in March reduced the bond Trump needed to pay to appeal the ruling. Engoron previously ruled on Sept. 26 that Trump was liable for fraud, ordering that several business licenses Trump held were to be rescinded, but an appeals court stayed the ruling on Oct. 6.

Former President Trump and Judge Engoron did not immediately respond requests for comment from the DCNF.

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