NY Appeals Court Stunner - Trump's Legal Team Gets Hit With Bad News

NY Appeals Court Stunner - Trump's Legal Team Gets Hit With Bad News

As former President Donald Trump seeks justice following what many believe was a biased, one-sided hush money trial in Manhattan, his chances may not improve much as he considers an appeal.

According to Fox News, the majority of New York appeals court judges either ran as Democrats for lower judicial positions, were appointed by Democratic governors, or donated to Democratic political candidates, which could be seen as a violation of the rules.

“State campaign records show that some of the justices, when they served as judges in the lower courts, donated to Democrat candidates and campaign committees, an apparent violation of the New York State Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics rules that prohibit partisan political activities of sitting judges,” Fox reported on Friday.

The justices’ history of political donations includes various New York elected officials, from state legislature candidates to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to the report.

Fox added:

A review of federal and state election contribution records reveals that at least 14 of the 21 justices made individual donations to Democrat campaigns and committees before their appointment to the court. Fox News could find no evidence of any donations by the justices to the New York state Republican, Conservative, or Liberal parties or their candidates.

The justices serve on the New York State Appellate Court, First Judicial Department, and will eventually hear the anticipated appeal from the former president’s lawyers regarding his conviction last Thursday on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

All but one of the court’s 21 justices were appointed by a New York Democratic governor—either David Patterson, Andrew Cuomo, or Kathy Hochul. The sole justice appointed by a Republican, New York Governor George Pataki, is Associate Justice David Friedman, who has been the longest-serving justice since his appointment 25 years ago, Fox reported.

Before his elevation to the court, Friedman was the candidate for Supreme Court justice representing the Democrat, Republican, and Conservative parties in the 2011 judgeship election. In an appellate court ruling during Trump’s real estate fraud trial last year, Friedman sided with Trump, according to Fox.

One justice who did not support Trump is Associate Justice Marsha D. Michael, the most recent member of the appellate panel. Hochul appointed her last October.

On April 19, three days before opening arguments were set to begin in Trump’s recently concluded criminal trial before State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan, Michael rejected a last-minute attempt by Trump’s lawyers to halt the proceedings. Her ruling allowed the trial, which ultimately convicted Trump, to proceed, according to the report.

In 2014, Michael ran in the Democratic primary for the New York State Assembly in the 79th District in the Bronx. She was endorsed in that race by then-New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, who went on to be elected New York Attorney General four years later. Last year, James prosecuted Trump and secured a successful $454 million real estate fraud case against him, though that award has since been greatly reduced.

When Michael was campaigning for the state legislature, James joined her on the campaign trail. On July 11, 2014, Michael addressed questions about her candidacy from the nonpartisan good government group Citizens Union.

She was asked if she supported a “merit-based appointment system through creation of a commission for the selection of judges in all of New York’s trial courts.” Michael disagreed with that, writing, “I don’t think all courts should solely be merit-based.”

Michael lost the Democratic primary race despite having the backing of the Bronx Democratic organization. She remained on the ballot in the general election as the candidate of the Working Families Party (WFP), which has socialist leanings. Today, the WFP is known for supporting members of the so-called “Squad” in Congress, including Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others, Fox reported.


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