Donald Trump Verbally Attacks Judge Arthur Engoron and His Clerk as He 'Temporarily' Lifts Gag Order
In a dramatic turn of events, former President Donald Trump launched a scathing tirade against the judge overseeing his civil fraud trial just hours after an appeals court temporarily lifted a gag order against him. The New York Appellate Division judge issued a stay on the gag order, deeming it "unconstitutional," with the pause set to extend until at least November 27 when a full panel of judges will review the matter.
The gag order, initially imposed by Judge Arthur Engoron on the trial's second day, aimed to curb Trump's attacks on the judge's law clerk. Trump had violated the order twice, resulting in fines totaling $15,000 and stern warnings from Engoron about potential harsh penalties, as per HuffPost. The judge justified his decision by highlighting the need to protect court staff from numerous threatening and antisemitic calls and letters.
🔥🚨 BREAKING: NY Appeals Court just removed the gag order on President Trump. pic.twitter.com/U1rGCDBZDY— Dom Lucre | Breaker of Narratives (@dom_lucre) November 16, 2023
Despite the fines and warnings, Trump celebrated the temporary reprieve on his Truth Social platform. He denounced the gag order as "ridiculous and unconstitutional," while lamenting the alleged political bias of the court clerk, whom he labeled a "Trump Hating Clerk" who is sinking the court to a "new level of low". Trump's criticism extended to the judge and New York Attorney General Letitia James, whom he accused of leading an "illegal Witch Hunt" against him.
In a continuation of his verbal onslaught, Trump's aides joined the fray. Jason Miller, a senior adviser, referred to Engoron's clerk, Allison Greenfield, as a "Democratic Operative." This echoed Trump's initial attack that triggered the gag order. Trump emphasized the urgency of ending what he called a "wicked attack on Democracy."
New York Appellate Judge, David Friedman, has just lifted the gag order for Trump, his attorneys, and anyone else involved in his civil fraud case.— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) November 16, 2023
Judge Friedman “There is cause for concern that it violated the former Presidents First Amendment Rights.”
This gag order was… pic.twitter.com/8seEbUNoqc
The New York appeals court judge, Associate Justice David Friedman, temporarily lifted the gag order after an emergency hearing. Chris Kise, an attorney for Trump, welcomed the decision, asserting that constitutional and First Amendment protections ensure public access to the trial proceedings. Trump's legal team had sought emergency relief, arguing that the gag order infringed on the former president's free speech rights. The order expanded to restrict Trump's attorneys from commenting on the judge's communications with the law clerk.
BREAKING: A New York appeals judge has lifted the gag order imposed on Trump by Judge Arthur Moron in the fraud case.— George (@BehizyTweets) November 16, 2023
Judge David Friedman's ruling not only removes the gag on Trump but also his lawyers. Friedman blasted Engoron for lacking the authority and violating Trump's… pic.twitter.com/NbpsOvg5dK
Trump's defense in the high-stakes civil case revolves around challenging allegations that the Trump Organization deceived lenders, insurers, and tax authorities. The New York Attorney General accuses Trump of inflating property values using misleading appraisals, seeking $250 million in damages and a ban on Trump's business activities in the state.
Despite Engoron's ruling that Trump and co-defendants were liable for fraud, Trump's defense contends that financial statements were not misleading. They argue that different appraisers can arrive at different property values and deny any intent to defraud banks or insurers. In September, Engoron had already ruled that the Trumps engaged in "persistent and repeated fraud" by inflating asset values on financial statements, as per Y! News. The state is pursuing six additional claims, including conspiracy, falsifying business records, issuing false financial statements, and insurance fraud.
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