Judge Engoron accuses Trump of violating gag order again

October 25, 2023

New York State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron on Wednesday fined former President Trump $10,000 for violating a gag order in his business fraud trial.

The fine was levied after Engoron said he was under the impression that Trump had again disparaged his law clerk—the reason the gag order was imposed in the first place—though Trump attorney Chris Kise asserted that his client was referring to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who’s testifying against his ex-boss in the civil trial.

Five days ago Engoron fined Trump $5,000 for violating the gag order

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 Truth Social post be deleted, but as of Friday the post had remained up on Trump’s campaign site for more than two weeks—though Kise insisted that was an inadvertent oversight. 

On Wednesday during a break in the trial, Trump reportedly said that “no negative jury would vote against me. But this judge will, because this judge is a very partisan judge with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside…perhaps even much more partisan than he is.”

Engoron responded by saying, “I am very protective of my staff, as i should be…I don’t want anybody killed,” though after Kise claimed Trump was referring to Cohen, Engoron said he would take the matter under advisement.

Under oath Trump also testified that he had been speaking about Cohen, but then, while issuing the monetary sanction, Engoron said, “As a trier of fact, I find that the witness is not credible.”

However, the judge reminded Trump and his team, “I stated the last time that any future violations would be severely punished. Why should there not be severe sanctions for this blatant, dangerous disobeyal of a court order?”

Last month, Engoron had issued a summary judgment in the civil lawsuit brought by Attorney General James. The Judge in the Supreme Court 1st Judicial District in New York 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.

PHOTO: Trump at NY State Supreme Court Tuesday

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