Lifelong Democrat Donor Who Smiled During Trump Trial Identified as New York Judge

The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s trial on fraud charges in New York is a lifelong Democratic donor who has made substantial political contributions, as revealed by campaign finance records.

Judge Arthur Engoron, who garnered attention for his appearance during the trial, has consistently supported Democratic candidates and committees over the past 25 years, with the majority of his donations going directly to local Democratic Party committees. Public records from New York’s campaign finance database indicate that Engoron has contributed more than $5,000 to various candidates and committees, with his most recent donation in 2018 to the Manhattan Democrats.

Engoron holds significant authority over Trump’s legal fate in this case. New York’s proceedings against Trump are conducted as a bench trial, meaning Engoron not only presides over the trial but also has the responsibility to determine guilt and issue sentencing. In a recent ruling, Engoron decided that there was no need for a trial to establish Trump’s consistent fraud in inflating the value of his assets, subsequently revoking Trump’s licenses to operate his New York properties.

Now, the state is seeking Engoron to impose a substantial $250 million penalty and permanently bar Trump from conducting business activities in New York.

Just last week, Trump labeled Judge Engoron as a “judge with an irrational bias against Trump” and suggested that he should face disbarment. On Monday, during a recess in the trial, the former president expressed his frustration, asserting that Engoron had already formed a definitive opinion on the case.

“We’re going to be here for months with a judge that already made up his mind. It’s ridiculous,” Trump said. “He’s a Democrat judge. He’s an operative. And it’s ridiculous.”

Records of contributions indicate that Engoron has exclusively supported Democratic causes. While a significant portion of his contributions has been directed towards local Democratic committees, he has also financially backed individual Democratic candidates, including former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, former Governor David Paterson, and several state lawmakers.

These partisan contributions are likely to intensify claims that the case against Trump has political motivations. Supporters of Trump argued on Monday, particularly in light of the footage showing Judge Engoron smiling in court, that the New York justice system is being utilized as a tool against political adversaries.

“To the Left, there are only allies or enemies,” said Stephen Miller, a former adviser in Trump’s White House. “And the more they judge someone the latter, the more they will weaponize the ‘justice’ system against them. This is our brave new world.”

“I’ve never seen anything more inappropriate in my life,” Jesse Binnall, an attorney for Trump but not in the New York fraud case, said during an appearance on Newsmax.

Legal commentator Jonathan Turley also questioned the political motive behind Engoron’s decision to allow cameras in the room in the first place.

“People looking at this picture right now will be either filled with rage or thrilled, and that’s a problem,” Turley said as footage rolled that showed the jovial judge smiling in court. “They’re insisting this trial occur during an election. Many people find it troubling.”