Former President Donald Trump's Continuous Attack on Judges Leave Legal Experts Flummoxed
Donald Trump's penchant for attacking judges, prosecutors, their staff, and potential witnesses against him has prompted judges to consider gag orders. Judge Arthur Engoron's recent ruling highlights the persistent pattern where Trump's attacks are not only the same in substance and language but are often baseless and derogatory per The Guardian. With over a dozen key figures targeted, including judges and prosecutors handling four criminal indictments, a New York civil fraud trial, and matters involving alleged sexual assault and defamation, Trump's approach is seen as a challenge to the very role of judges.
In a dramatic turn of events in Donald Trump's New York civil fraud trial, Judge Engoron delivered a decisive moment by imposing a gag order on the former president. The ruling is not exclusive to Trump and applies to all parties involved, but its genesis lies in a baseless claim made by him about a romantic connection involving an Engoron staffer.
The judge explicitly referred to a social media post made by Trump on the same day, which he deemed inappropriate and ordered its deletion. The content of the post echoed Trump's familiar strategy of circulating baseless rumors about the personal lives of key figures involved in his legal proceedings. This isn't the first instance; two months ago, Trump targeted Fulton County, Ga., District Attorney Fani Willis with unfounded claims of having an affair with a "gang member." Robert Smith, an ex-New York Court of Appeals judge said, "As often with Trump, he’s testing the boundaries of what he can get away with by acting in such bizarre ways. He’s acting like a petulant nine-year-old as he often does."
‘He’s like a mob boss’: legal experts alarmed by Trump’s attacks on judges. Ex-president’s attempt to discredit charges with smear tactics weakens the judicial system, former judges say#Trump pic.twitter.com/hghQz84iA3— Red Phoenix News (@RedPhoenixNews) October 23, 2023
Retired Massachusetts judge and Harvard Law School lecturer Nancy Gertner expresses concern, stating, "Trump’s attacks on judges poison the civil atmosphere and make physical attacks … more likely." The gravity of the situation prompted Judge Engoron to issue a limited gag order after several attacks against him and his law clerk. Ex-federal prosecutor Paul Rosenzweig said, "His arguments don’t have any legal legs. They’re designed to be catnip for his supporters and to attempt to delay his trials for as long as possible." Some justice department veterans view Trump's attacks on judges as a strategic campaign move.
Anyone else noticed that trump accuses the supreme court judges of lying yet keeps paying money to go in front of them and lose? 🤣— Political/Science Junkie Ninja (@BillyKromer) December 22, 2020
Representative Jamie Raskin suggests that Trump sees recapturing the presidency in 2024 as his "ultimate safe haven" from legal consequences, believing it will provide immunity through self-pardoning and avoidance of state and civil cases. Meanwhile, Kenneth Chesebro, a lawyer formerly close to Donald Trump, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a Georgia court, marking a significant move in the ongoing legal disputes around the 2020 U.S. presidential election. This is a significant setback for the former president and a significant triumph for Fulton County prosecutors, as it implicates Trump and several others in a scheme to sway election outcomes.
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