Judge Imposes $5,000 Fine On Trump For Defaming Court Staffer In Violation Of Gag Order
On Friday, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron rebuked Donald Trump for breaking a partial gag order in his $250 million New York fraud lawsuit and imposed a fine of $5,000 on the former president, while suggesting the possibility of severe punishment, including incarceration.
The judge emphasized the potential danger of spreading false information, which he said can lead to significant physical harm. Engoron asked the defense lawyer to justify why Trump should not face sanctions or imprisonment for his violation. Apologizing on his client’s behalf, the attorney said the violation was committed unintentionally.
It’s the first instance where Trump has been warned about the consequences of not complying with court-ordered speech restrictions by the judge. Trump was not present in court to receive the rebuke as he had departed New York after spending two days in the civil trial.
Earlier, Engoron had put a partial gag order on Trump’s speech in the case, following his social media message attacking the judge’s law clerk. Engoron had instructed Trump to take down the Truth Social post and prohibited him and others involved in the case from making public comments about his staff. Following the order, the post was deleted from Truth Social, but it continued to be featured on the former president’s campaign website.
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According to Christopher Kise, a lawyer for Trump, the reason why a deleted social media post was still present on his website was due to the extensive size of the presidential campaign, which led to an “oversight.”
The post was later taken down by Trump’s lawyers after being pointed out by Engoron. The judge stated that Trump bears responsibility for the situation, even if someone on his campaign was responsible for not removing the post.
The post in question included an image of the judge’s principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, standing alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), during a public function. Trump alleged in the post that Greenfield was collaborating with Engoron on the matter, describing it as “disgraceful.”
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