A Former Bandmate Recalls Judge Engoron, Once an Aspiring Rock Musician

Erin Schaff/New York Times via AP, Pool

As the 2024 U.S. Presidential election season rolls on, Democrats have been continuing their lawfare campaign against former President Donald Trump, the presumed Republican presidential nominee.


New York State Attorney General Letitia James concluded her civil fraud lawsuit against the Trump Organization several weeks ago in one of the biggest political highlights of the year.

A controversial figure associated with the trial is Judge Arthur F. Engoron, a politically appointed Democrat on the New York State Supreme Court who presided over the case.

A thrice-married former cab driver and a once aspiring rock musician, the left-wing judge was criticized by Trump and his supporters throughout the trial for his allegedly partisan conduct against the former president in the courtroom.

A report has also resurfaced of Engoron's unprofessional behavior in 2002, which compromised a legal case a year before he was appointed to the bench.

Related: That Time Judge Engoron Pulled a Fani Willis

While looking into the New York's judge's past, I spoke with Aristedes Philip DuVal, who played with Engoron in a band 30 years ago and who is now a Trump supporter.

DuVal also happened to have had an encounter with E. Jean Carroll, another figure involved in one of Trump's legal battles, regarding a deal with Tawkify, the dating service she co-founded.


He currently runs Greek USA TV, an internet TV station on Roku and Amazon Fire, which serves the Greek-American community in the United States.

DuVal first met Engoron as an aspiring rock musician and law clerk at the time, before the future judge gave up on his attempt at a music career.

"I believe I met Judge Arthur Engoron in 1989 when I answered an ad for singers he had placed in the Village Voice," recalled DuVal, who would rehearse with their band in Engoron's Upper West Side apartment.

"Arthur was the rock keyboardist at the time for our band, 'Midnight Party' and I thought he was a talented keyboardist," said DuVal.

"I remember him enthusiastically printing dozens of classic rock lyric sheets of the songs, which we performed at bars across New York City, all of which I still have."

The judge's former bandmate remembered Engoron as a completely different man at the time and described him as a "very normal, likable, affable guy, very easy to get along with."

"At the time I was a Liberal Democrat and I got along well with Arthur, but I do not remember having had any political discourse with him," said DuVal, after asking him if Engoron had any partisan leanings back then.


"We never had any time for politics between learning the material and then performing, you know, we were just playing music together," he added.

DuVal said that he has been "completely shocked" at Engoron's "unbelievable viciousness and extremely leftist behavior."

"I would have never imagined that he would become so vile a person. I think becoming a judge went to his head or maybe he was very leftist all along, but I don't think we ever got around to talking politics. It's funny, you know, I'm astounded."

DuVal said he last spoke with Engoron a few years ago, about three decades after the judge left the band.

"I was at housing court a few years ago and asked a clerk if he knew an Arthur Engoron. I was able to reach his office to say hello to him, but he was very cold and he did not seem too pleased or very enthusiastic to hear from me, so it ended there."


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