Judge in New York Imposes Limited Gag Order Following Trump’s Derogatory Social Media Remark About Court Clerk

by Ethan Kim
gag order

A New York judge, Arthur Engoron, instituted a constrained gag order in the ongoing civil trial concerning Donald Trump’s business fraud allegations on Tuesday. This decision was made subsequent to a social media post by the former U.S. president that targeted a crucial member of the court’s staff.

Judge Engoron’s directive is applicable to all involved parties in the lawsuit and specifically bans verbal assaults on court personnel. The order came in response to a derogatory post from Trump about Allison Greenfield, the judge’s chief legal clerk.

The social media post contained a photograph of Greenfield alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., taken at a public event. Trump, who is leading in Republican polls for the 2024 presidential race, has consistently characterized the trial and lawsuit as politically motivated assaults orchestrated by New York’s Democratic Attorney General, Letitia James.

In his post, Trump labeled it as “disgraceful” that Greenfield was collaborating with Judge Engoron in the judicial process.

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Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, was present in court for the proceedings on Monday, October 2, 2023, in New York City.

Apart from these distractions, Trump was present in court for a second day and intends to return for a third. During the trial, the state’s lawyers questioned an accountant to substantiate New York’s case against Trump and his business, alleging they systematically issued misleading and outright false financial documents.

Judge Engoron also clarified an earlier comment that Trump had claimed as a significant legal win. He stated on Tuesday that the trial was not a venue to revisit already-made legal decisions. Furthermore, he emphasized that both parties would be allowed considerable latitude in presenting older evidence relevant to the current lawsuit.

The testimony from accountant Donald Bender continued, focusing on his history of preparing financial statements for Trump based on information provided by Trump’s company. Bender mentioned that in some instances, not all necessary documents were made available for the preparation of these financial statements, contrary to written attestations from the Trump Organization.

During the cross-examination, attorney Jesus M. Suarez emphasized the significance of working for Trump, which led to an objection from a state attorney questioning the relevance of such a line of inquiry.

In regards to the gag order, Judge Engoron noted that a defendant had made a disparaging and factually incorrect social media post about a staff member. The judge declared such personal attacks as unacceptable and intolerable.

Trump later deleted the offending post, as ordered by Judge Engoron.

Courtroom attendees were escorted out for private discussions between Trump and legal representatives from both sides, following the day’s testimony.

The former president reiterated key defense points, claiming that the lawsuit is baseless and emphasizing that the financial statements in question included disclaimers advising due diligence.

Engoron, who is a Democrat, had previously ruled that Trump engaged in fraudulent practices by overvaluing certain properties, giving James an initial victory in her quest for $250 million and a ban on Trump conducting business in New York.

The civil trial, which does not involve a jury, is expected to extend until December and addresses the remaining six claims in the lawsuit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about gag order

What prompted Judge Arthur Engoron to issue a gag order in Donald Trump’s civil business fraud trial?

Judge Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order after Donald Trump posted a derogatory social media comment about the judge’s chief legal clerk, Allison Greenfield. The gag order applies to all parties involved in the case and specifically prohibits verbal attacks on court staff.

Who is Allison Greenfield?

Allison Greenfield is Judge Arthur Engoron’s chief legal clerk. She was the target of a disparaging social media post by Donald Trump, which led to the imposition of the gag order.

What is the nature of the civil trial against Donald Trump?

The civil trial concerns allegations of business fraud against Donald Trump. New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges that Trump and his business systematically issued misleading and false financial statements.

How has Donald Trump responded to the allegations?

Donald Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. He has also characterized the lawsuit and trial as politically motivated attacks spearheaded by New York’s Democratic Attorney General, Letitia James.

Is Donald Trump required to attend the trial?

No, Donald Trump is not required to attend the trial. However, he has been present for two days and plans to return for a third. He has also expressed intentions to testify later in the trial.

What are the key points in the defense presented by Donald Trump’s legal team?

The defense argues that the financial statements in question included disclaimers that advised institutions to perform due diligence. They have also emphasized that the case is baseless and politically motivated.

What is the expected duration of the trial?

The civil trial, which is non-jury, is expected to last until December. It currently addresses the remaining six claims in the lawsuit against Donald Trump.

What are the potential consequences for Donald Trump if found guilty?

If found guilty, Donald Trump could potentially face penalties amounting to $250 million and a ban on doing business in New York. Some of his companies could also be dissolved as punishment.

Who else has testified in the trial?

Accountant Donald Bender has testified about his experience preparing financial statements for Donald Trump, based on data supplied by Trump’s company. He mentioned that sometimes not all necessary documents were provided.

What did Judge Engoron rule concerning the statute of limitations?

Judge Engoron ruled that all claims in the lawsuit are permissible under the statute of limitations. He also clarified that the trial is not an opportunity to revisit legal decisions he had already made.

More about gag order

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PoliticalNerd October 4, 2023 - 12:41 am

Engoron seems to mean business here. Good to see a judge not tolerating any nonsense in the court room.

AutoMaven October 4, 2023 - 8:04 am

Off-topic, but anyone else here think that this trial’s gonna have repercussions in the political arena too? Just a thought.

JohnSmith123 October 4, 2023 - 8:29 am

Wow, can’t believe Trump got a gag order on him. Thought he could say anything and get away with it! What’s next?

SarahInNY October 4, 2023 - 4:30 pm

gag order or not, this is gonna make headlines for weeks. Already setting reminders to follow up on the trial.

FinanceGuy October 4, 2023 - 5:23 pm

This whole case sounds like a hot mess. Waiting for the day we get to hear Trump’s own testimony lol.

CryptoQueen October 4, 2023 - 9:17 pm

Hmm, so we’re talking about business fraud huh. would love to see how this plays out, especially given the statue of limitations talk.


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