The judge in former President Donald Trump’s $370 million civil lawsuit in New York—who, even before the trial began, ruled the former president liable for fraud—has sent a sharply worded email to President Trump’s attorneys defending his impartiality.
“You and your co-counsel have been questioning my impartiality since the early days of this case, presumably because I sometimes rule against your clients,” Judge Engoron wrote. “That whole approach is getting old.”
“As the presiding magistrate, the trier of fact, and the judge of credibility, I of course want to know whether Mr. Weisselberg is now changing his tune, and whether he is admitting he lied under oath in my courtroom at this trial,” Judge Engoron wrote.
‘Falsus In Uno’The judge added that he was considering using Mr. Weisselberg’s potential admission that he lied in court to invoke “falsus in uno,” a legal doctrine that a witness who testified falsely about one thing is not credible to testify about other matters.
Ms. James has requested additional penalties against President Trump, including a permanent ban on his doing business in New York state and with any New York-based financial institution.
How Harsh a Punishment?As Judge Engoron considers issuing his verdict, there have been several developments with the apparent potential to affect the severity of the verdict.
And now, there are the rumors of Mr. Weisselberg’s potential perjury plea deal, with respect to which Judge Engoron asked Trump counsel to provide him with information “detailing anything you know about this.”
In his response to Judge Engoron, Mr. Robert berated the judge for his “unprecedented, inappropriate and troubling” request that “calls into question the impartiality of the court.”
The Trump attorney also criticized Judge Engoron for considering “unsubstantiated news reports in rendering” his decision.
Mr. Robert’s assertions provoked a prickly response from Judge Engoron.
“When I sent my straightforward, narrow request for information about possible perjury by Allen Weisselberg in the subject case, I was not seeking to initiate a wide-ranging debate with counsel,” Judge Engoron wrote in the Feb. 8 reply to Mr. Robert’s charges.
“However, your misleading response grossly mischaracterizes the letter that I wrote, and I feel compelled to respond,” he continued.
Judge Engoron then accused Mr. Robert of “attacking a straw person” while insisting that he had not taken, did not plan to take, and never suggested that he would take the NY Times article “into consideration in my findings of fact.”
However, the judge added that if Mr. Weisselberg were to confess to having committed perjury before he issued his verdict, he will consider it in determining the severity of punishment for President Trump.
The judge’s letter did not indicate whether he plans to push back the date of issuing his final judgment, which he initially said he wanted to do in mid-January but later a court spokesperson told The Epoch Times this has been pushed back to early-to-mid-February as a “rough estimate.”
While Judge Engoron already issued a summary judgment finding President Trump liable for fraud, his impending verdict will determine damages and remaining claims of conspiracy, insurance fraud, and falsifying business records.