Donald Trump Slapped With $5,000 Fine for Violating Gag Order in New York Trial
In a recent turn of events in the continuing civil fraud trial in New York against former president Donald Trump, Justice Arthur Engoron fined Trump $5,000 for breaking a gag order that disallowed him from criticizing the court staff. This action comes while Trump is embroiled in numerous legal disputes on numerous fronts.
The contentious trial, which started three weeks ago, centers on civil allegations made by Letitia James, the attorney general of the state of New York, that Trump falsely inflated his net worth to mislead lenders. The lawsuit maintains that Trump manipulated asset valuations to deceive insurers while falsely inflating the worth of his properties by billions of dollars. This allegedly allowed him to save hundreds of millions of dollars on loan interest, per Reuters.
Justice Engoron issued a partial gag order on the second day of the trial, barring any parties from criticizing the court staff in any way. This action was taken in response to Trump's attack on Justice Engoron's clerk, Alison R. Greenfield, on Truth Social, a website he founded, in which he implied a connection with famous New York Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump's tweet was promptly taken down from Truth Social, but it was still available for 17 more days on his campaign website for 2024.
Trump fined $5000 for violating gag order in New York civil trial - Reuters https://t.co/qL4koFCPAt— Yabdiy (@yabdiy) October 20, 2023
This "blatant violation" of the gag order was denounced by Justice Engoron, who emphasized that the order was not meant to be disregarded, per CNN. He cautioned that any future transgressions, whether deliberate or unintentional, might lead to much worse punishments, such as higher monetary fines, declaring Trump in contempt of court, or even imprisoning him.
The judge said, “Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to far more severe sanctions.” “Donald Trump has received ample warning from this Court as to the possible repercussions of violating the gag order. He specifically acknowledged that he understood and would abide by it.” Judge Arthur Engoron said in his order, "Accordingly, issuing yet another warning is no longer appropriate; this Court is way behind the ‘warning’ stage.”
Chris Kise, an attorney for Trump, expressed regret and called the publication of the article on a less popular page of the campaign website "inadvertent." The "ICYMI link" on the campaign website had not been taken down, according to Kise. He assured the judge that Trump had ordered the post to be removed and clarified that there was no intention to flout the court's order.
Kise emphasized that no new posts had been made on Trump's Truth Social website and attributed the problem to the intricate machinery of the campaign structure. He suggested that the issue was a result of the campaign's procedure when he confirmed the post's removal on Thursday night and Friday morning.
Justice Engoron responded by saying “I will take this under advisement. I want to make clear that Donald Trump is still responsible for the large machine, even if it is a large machine.” He added, “In the current overheated climate incendiary untruths can and in some cases already has lead to serious physical harm and worse," reports CNN.
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