Weirdness Abounds – New York Judge Engoron Expands Gag Order to Stop Trump Defense Attorneys from Discussing Instructions from Court Clerk


by Sundance

The judge in the New York City case against Donald Trump and the Trump organization has transparently been a little goofy.  From the first day when he posed for the cameras, to the sketchy application of legal review within the case, Judge Arthur Engoron exhibits the classic traits of being weird and unstable.

There is a pattern amid the deployment of Lawfare that deserves some background context.  Whenever Lawfare is deployed there are always background characters who are seemingly needed to keep the bizarre interpretations of Lawfare tactics on track.

We saw this play out with Debra Katzenberg, Monica McLean and David Laufman controlling Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey-Ford.  We saw it again with Mary McCord playing the role in the background of the Trump Lawfare impeachment to guide Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff.  We saw it again with Andrew Weissmann and Norm Eisen guiding Special Prosecutor Jack Smith from the backbench of Lawfare.  In each case the principal activity is guided by Lawfare ideologues who use position to influence.

In the Judge Engoron example, court clerk Allison Greenfield has been passing notes and instructions to Engoron as the case has progressed.  The activity has become so disconcerting that Trump’s lawyers have called it out in court as it happens {Breitbart Link}.  In response to the sunlight upon the visible activity, Judge Engoron has now expanded his gag order to prohibit Trump’s lawyers from drawing attention to the activity of Ms. Greenfield.

NEW YORK — The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s ongoing civil fraud trial issued another gag order on Friday — this time prohibiting all lawyers working on the trial from “from making any public statements, in or out of court, that refer to any confidential communications, in any form, between my staff and me.” (link)

The issuance of the gag order is weird because the entire dynamic of the clerk instructing the judge is weird.   The gag order is an effort by Engoron to stop people from noticing it….  Yeah, that’s exponentially weirder.

POLITICO – [Trump Attorney Chris] Kise complained about Greenfield’s habit of passing notes to Engoron during proceedings, suggesting she is improperly influencing his decisions. Engoron reacted sharply to that complaint, telling Kise, “I have an unfettered, absolute right to consult with my law clerks” and saying he wouldn’t tolerate future comments about his staff.

Kise, though, continued to argue that he needed to state objections on the record for the purposes of an eventual appeal. “If notes are being passed at certain specific times or they’re being passed in a way that might indicate some bias,” he said, “that’s a record that needs to be made contemporaneously.” (more)

As noted by Henry Rossof from inside the court today, “Judge Engoron said he will note a continuing objection to his consultation with his clerk but does not want anything more said about her… he will still consult.”

“I have an absolute, unfettered right to consult with my law clerks anywhere, anytime,” Engoron noted. “There’s no more need to make a record” [of it within the court when it occurs] he concluded.

After this series of exchanges today, Engoron then expanded his court order to forbid the Trump lawyers from telling the public about what was happening between him and his clerk in the court.

Yup, weird, sketchy and fitting right in with the pattern of how Lawfare is deployed.

These people are ideologically not stable.


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