The New York judge overseeing one of former President Donald Trump's legal battles admitted in 2015 that he could not "factor out emotions" entirely in his rulings.
In a video posted on YouTube, Judge Arthur Engoron of the New York Supreme Court's first district is seen talking to law students at Queensborough Community College in Bayside, New York.
"Am I following the law, or am I making the law? OK, I'm following law. I'm an impartial referee. But it's hard to factor out my own emotions," Engoron said.
He then explained he had "tools" to deal with more emotional situations in court when they arise.
One, he said, includes going to extreme lengths to prove that a case seemingly similar in nature to another is actually different, thereby separating it from attached legal precedence.
"Well, is it just like another case? What if the defendant was wearing a red sweater instead of a blue sweater? Well, that's an extreme example that wouldn't distinguish most cases. But there are other facts that do," Engoron said.
For example, he said, "maybe the education of somebody who's supposedly entered into a contract would decide whether the contract was binding."
The revelation of Engoron lacking confidence in his impartiality comes after he snapped at defendants during the cross-examination of Donald Bender, an accountant formerly employed by the Trump Organization.
"You're not allowed to waste time," Engoron told Trump's legal team before preventing them from asking Bender's opinion on each year of the financial statements he filed on behalf of the organization.
Engoron ruled last week that Trump committed fraud by inflating the value of his assets – a decision likely to be appealed. Now, he is overseeing the rest of the case outlined by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics.
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