Judge Slaps Trump With Increasing Fines For Evident Gag Order Violation

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Arthur Engoron, the judge presiding over the fraud trial in New York against former President Donald Trump and individuals close to him, has hit the former president with a financial penalty of $10,000 over comments he made outside the courtroom. The comments appeared to violate a gag order that the judge had previously issued blocking public diatribes against court staff.

Trump, in his original remarks, complained about a supposedly “partisan” individual adjacent to the judge who, in his characterization, could have some impact on how the case turned out. He did not name the individual to whom he was referring, but observers found the description to potentially apply to the same judicial clerk who Trump previously disparaged, sparking the original restrictions. A lawyer for Trump claimed the former president was speaking about his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who’s been testifying this week in the civil proceedings, but the judge clearly wasn’t buying that claim as a sufficient explanation.

Trump was ordered to the stand as Engoron considered potential consequences for his latest antagonistic comments. “Engoron said he didn’t find the former president credible and fined him $10,000,” as reported by NBC. 

The whole incident hearkens back to one in his federal criminal case alleging attempted election interference in 2020. Trump posted threatening but unspecified comments online, sparking concerns from the prosecutors on the case… but Trump’s team claimed he was referring to separate political adversaries of his, despite the persistent context for his similar remarks of attacks specifically on the other side in his various court proceedings. A potential gag order in that federal case remains under dispute. Back in the New York case, Trump was previously fined $5,000 after a copy of an earlier online post targeting that law clerk remained on a website tied to the former president for weeks after Engoron first laid down his demands.