Allison Greenfield, the chief clerk for Judge Arthur Engoron, who presides over President Donald Trump’s New York case, is facing calls for disbarment after her substantial political contributions to Democrats came to light.
Greenfield’s donations to Democratic politicians appear to be in violation of judicial rules that prohibit court officers from making excessive political contributions.
Moreover, it seems that Judge Engoron was made aware of Greenfield’s violations through a 72-page complaint submitted to his court via email.
The same complaint was also filed with the New York State Bar Association on the day when Engoron imposed a gag order on Trump. This politically motivated anti-Trump case is currently unfolding in Engoron’s Manhattan courtroom.
Engoron’s gag order prevents the 45th president from making any critical comments about his principal law clerk, and the judge has subsequently fined Trump a total of $15,000 for two alleged violations of that order.
However, the evidence presented against Greenfield in the complaint, which was filed by a third party, is highly significant.
Typically, such complaints are kept confidential, but in this case, the individual who filed it, a Wisconsin resident named Brock Fredin, published the entire complaint online. Fredin manages a Twitter account dedicated to exposing such conflicts called Judicial Protest.
“My name is Brock Fredin and I operate the Twitter account @JudicialProtest,” Fredin wrote in the October 3, 2023, complaint sent to Engoron.
“I write with respect to the blatantly unethical and partisan conduct of Your Honor’s Principal Law Clerk Allison Greenfield, the Court’s ‘Gag Order’ issued today concerning President Trump’s retweeting of my tweet about Ms. Greenfield and Senator Chuck Schumer taken at a Chelsea Reform Democrat Club brunch and the overly apparent appearance of impropriety in the above-referenced matter with respect to Ms. Greenfield’s repeated partisan political and Democrat activities while employed as a law clerk.
“Given that President Trump’s post at-issue today was a re-tweet of my original tweet on the @JudicialProtest account, the Court’s order directing President Trump to remove it is a direct attack on my First Amendment rights (as well as President Trump’s), particularly since the Court asserted on the record that my tweet was a ‘personal attack’ on Ms. Greenfield rather than a post exposing and criticizing the misconduct of a public official.
“I am consequently an interested party and submit this letter as such.
“To be clear, though, this letter and its contents are not a ‘personal attack’ on Ms. Greenfield.
“Rather, this letter contains receipts and raises serious ethical violations as to her political speech and activities involving the Democrat Party while employed as your law clerk that undoubtedly create an appearance of impropriety in People v. Trump et al.”
The 72-page complaint has been published on a website seemingly created by Fredin to publicly disclose the filing.
As it was released by the complainant, the contents are now publicly accessible information.
Throughout the complaint, it extensively documents Greenfield’s significant political involvement.
This involvement encompasses close associations with prominent New York Democrats, such as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and former Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).
The complaint also outlines various activities in which Greenfield participated as a Democratic Party organizer, including canvassing for Democratic Party officials and working to support the election of Democrats to public office.
Furthermore, the complaint highlights Greenfield’s substantial contributions to Democratic candidates and causes, which far exceed the allowable limits for court officials in New York on an annual basis.
Additionally, it reveals that she received endorsements from Democrats while running for the position of a New York Civil Court Judge while the case was still pending.
New York ethics rules prohibit court officials like Greenfield from making political donations exceeding $500 in the aggregate within a given calendar year.
These rules, as indicated on the court system’s website, specify that “a judge shall prohibit members of the judge’s staff who are the judge’s personal appointees from engaging in the following political activity.”
Under this subheading, the second point states that prohibited conduct for judicial staff includes:
…contributing, directly or indirectly, money or other valuable consideration in amounts exceeding $500 in the aggregate during any calendar year to all political campaigns for political office, and other partisan political activity including, but not limited to, the purchasing of tickets to political functions, except that this $500 limitation shall not apply to an appointee’s contributions to his or her own campaign.
Where an appointee is a candidate for judicial office, reference also shall be made to appropriate sections of the Election Law.
In both this year and the previous year, Greenfield significantly surpassed the $500 limit.
Greenfield has served as Justice Engoron’s principal law clerk for multiple years, beginning her role in 2019.
In the most recent two years, 2022 and 2023, she violated the ethics regulations for judicial staff.
In 2022, Greenfield contributed thousands of dollars to Democratic causes alone.
These donations are publicly accessible and can be verified in New York’s elections database.
The cumulative sum of Greenfield’s contributions amounts to several thousand dollars.
These contributions encompass:
$200 to the Four Freedoms Democratic Club in New York on May 2, 2022
$175 to the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club in New York on April 5, 2022—and gave the group another $210 on July 25, 2022.
$350 to the West Side Democrats, Inc. in New York on June 15, 2022
$50 more to New Yorkers For Alex Bores on Sept. 8, 2022
On Oct. 26, 2022, she gave another $50 to the Four Freedoms Democratic Club
On Sept. 12, 2022, Greenfield gave $100 to the Grand Street Democrats
On Dec. 2, 2022, Greenfield gave another $100 to Hell’s Kitchen Democrats
On Nov. 10, 2022, and on Nov. 21, 2022, Greenfield gave $250 each time to Downtown Independent Democrats
On Sept. 6, 2022, she gave $250 to Village Independent Democrats
On Dec. 27, 2022, Greenfield gave $500 to the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
She gave the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club another $500 spread over two $250 donations back on June 1, 2022, as well
On March 3, 2022, she gave $50 to Sivin for New York
On March 10, 2022, Greenfield gave another $100 to Sivin for New York
On May 15, 2022, she gave another $125 to Sivin for New York
$25 to the New York County Democratic Committee on Feb. 13, 2022
On July 17, 2022, she gave the New York County Democratic Committee another $50
In 2022, Greenfield made political donations totaling $3,335 to support Democratic candidates and initiatives in New York. This amount significantly exceeds the maximum annual limit permitted for court officials like her.
In 2023, Greenfield has continued to provide financial support to Democrats, contributing to:
$400 to the Four Freedoms Democratic Club on March 23—and two separate $100 donations to Coda District Leaders on April 6 and May 17 respectively.
$20 to Friends of Kim on Feb. 6, 2023
$250 to the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club on May 30, 2023
On Jan. 26, 2023, Greenfield gave $56 to Harvey For New York
On July 21, 2023, she gave another $75 to the New York County Democratic Committee.
In 2023, Greenfield has already contributed a total of $1,001 to support Democratic candidates and initiatives, which is more than double the annual limit allowed by the ethics rules.
Interestingly, during the ongoing public court proceedings this month, Judge Engoron has not informed Trump’s legal counsel about the complaint concerning Greenfield’s potential ethics violations.
Greenfield’s role alongside Engoron has been a significant aspect of the case as the trial progresses. Notably, Engoron criticized one of Trump’s lawyers for raising concerns about Greenfield, characterizing it as “misogyny,” as reported by The New York Times.
“Justice Arthur Engoron is taking Christopher M. Kise, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, to task for disparaging his law clerk, Allison Greenfield,” the NY Times’s Jonah Bromwich reported from the court.
“The judge says he thinks it may be a problem of misogyny and asks Kise not to mention his court staff again.
“Kate Christobek, another Times reporter, added that Engoron threatened on Thursday to extend the gag order against Trump to his attorneys as well if they kept raising questions about Greenfield.
“Alina Habba, another of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, is now also complaining about Greenfield having improper influence on the judge, talking to him during proceedings,” Bromwich added in another Thursday update.
“Habba says Greenfield’s conduct is a part of the record and the case.
“‘I’m not going to stand by and allow it to happen,’ Habba says, asserting that because she is a woman, she is no misogynist.”