Trump threatened with jail time over gag order violation

October 20, 2023

How likely is it that Donald Trump will be able to comply with Judge Arthur Engoron's partial gag order through the end of his civil trial?

Former President Trump was fined $5,000 for violating a gag order issued by New York State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron.

The fine was reported soon after Engoron threatened Trump with jail time over a “blatant violation” of the partial gag order in the former President”s business fraud trial.

“Incendiary untruths can and have led to serious physical harm,” Engoron said in his Manhattan courtroom on Friday.

On October 3 Engoron issued the gag order in Trump’s civil trial after the former President targeted Engoron’s principal law clerk by sharing a social media post that included her full name and a photo of her posing with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as they both smiled. Trump’s posting falsely called the clerk “Schumer’s girlfriend” and accused her of “running this case against me.”

Engoron at the time ordered that the post be deleted, but as of Friday the post remained up on Trump’s campaign website.

“Last night I learned the offending post was never removed from a website,” Engoron said Friday, adding, “This is a blatant violation of the gag order. I made it clear, failure to comply will result in serious sanctions.”

The judge floated the idea of not just heavy sanction but also possible jail time against the former President if he continues to not comply with the gag order.

Trump attorney Chris Kise apologized on his client’s behalf Friday, saying the violation was unintentional.

“The Truth Social post was taken down when the court asked,” Kise said, adding that Trump “never made any more comments about court staff, but it appears no one took it down on the campaign website.”

“Engoron said he would take Kise’s remarks “under advisement,” but added that Trump “is still responsible for what appears on the site.”

Last month, Engoron had issued a summary judgment in the civil lawsuit brought by Attorney General James. The judge agreed with James’ allegations that Trump and his companies, as well as his two adult sons, had committed more than 200 instances of bank, tax and insurance fraud over a 10-year period from 2011 to 2021.

The summary judgment resolved the key claim in James’ lawsuit, but the other claims remain, including the amount of damages that will be levied. The state Attorney General is suing Trump and the other defendants for $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in his home state. The trial could last into December, according to Engoron.

Engoron’s was the first of two gag orders levied in Trump cases in about a month and a half. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Monday handed down a limited gag order against the former President in his federal 2020 election interference trial.

PHOTO: Trump arrives in DC for Arraignment, August 3

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