New York state Judge Arthur Engoron is deciding how exactly to fine Donald Trump for fraud in inflating the value of his assets. All the while, Engoron has been conferring with his clerk, Allison Greenfield.
Now, the court has been hit with an ethics complaint.
Under case law, a clerk in New York state may not buy tickets to “political functions” after spending “political campaigns or other partisan political activities during a calendar year.”
Greenfield has given much, much more than $500 to partisan political activities. According to this year’s state records, Greenfield donated $400 and $200 to the Freedoms Democratic Club and the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, respectively.
However, it remains unclear whether she bought tickets to a political function after that.
A complaint by filed apparently by a Wisconsin watchdog named Brock Fedin, and it was published online.
“I write with respect to the blatantly unethical and partisan conduct of Your Honor’s Principal Law Clerk Allison Greenfield,” the 72-page complaint said.
The complaint was filed on Oct. 3, and it’s never been mentioned in the courtroom.
However, Engoron discussed the subject matter of the complaint on Thursday. More specifically, he dismissed all critiques of Greenfield’s activism.
“Do not refer to my staff again,” Engoron told Trump’s lawyers, according to the New York Sun. “She is a civil servant.”
Some legal commentators say that clerks hold little power and that they take orders from judges. Engoron himself has said of his clerk, “She is doing what I ask her to do and she has helped me process cases and decide them correctly.”
However, Greenfield has loomed large in this case. She posed with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a photo posted to Instagram, and then she became the subject of a public comment by Trump.
Fearing the possibility of a threat, Engoron imposed a gag order on Trump after this post. By one count, the judge fined Trump $15,000 specifically for commenting on Greenfield’s political activities.
On Thursday, Engoron judge maintained his “absolute unfettered right” to confer with Greenfield. What’s more, the judge accused Trump’s lawyers of sexism, and he threatened to gag Trump’s lawyers, in addition to Trump himself.
“I sometimes think there may be a bit of misogyny, in fact, on your team, referring to my female principal law clerk,” Engoron reportedly said.
One of Trump’s female attorneys, Alina Habba, has also complained about Greenfield’s remarks to the judge.
“There is a nod of the head and then decisions are made… I’m not going to stand by and allow it to happen,” Habba reportedly said Thursday.
Habba added, “I assure you misogyny is not the issue… I have the same issues with the person sitting on the bench. I would like to make that clear on the record. And frankly, it is not just distracting, it’s insulting.”