Judge Threatens New Gag Order In Letitia James’ Case Against Trumps

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At trial in New York this week, as a fraud case from the state’s Attorney General Letitia James against the Trumps was further considered, presiding Judge Arthur Engoron at one point pounded the tabletop before him as he rebuked legal counsel on the Trumps’ side.

The problem for Engoron was the continuing criticism of a law clerk of his. Former President Donald Trump himself having targeted this individual led to the widely reported gag order implemented from Engoron, which — after the judge found Trump to repeatedly be in violation — led to $15,000 in fines for the former president, with the judge threatening further consequences if violations continued. Well, Trump’s legal team has also been targeting this individual in personal terms in court. As relayed Thursday by legal analyst Lisa Rubin, Engoron threatened Thursday to expand the reach of the earlier gag order to block such comments from the defense.

“Kise refers to his principal law clerk, and now Engoron, while calm, is furious, noting that the obsession with his clerk seems misogynistic to him. Any further reference to my principal law clerk will result in my expanding the order to the attorneys, Engoron says,” Rubin shared. “Kise” refers to Trump lawyer Christopher Kise, who referred in response to the judge to his purported speech rights under the First Amendment and his general responsibilities to provide legal representation… a framework the judge rejected. Engoron also spoke against separate comments from Trump lawyer Alina Habba complaining about the judge and the law clerk communicating through notes.

“I have an absolute unfettered right to get advice from my principal law clerk. There is no First Amendment value to talking about her,” Engoron said, also according to Rubin. And Engoron later directed the table-pounding fury at Kise. “You are not entitled to my notes!” the judge said. Kise’s defense this time was that he’s ostensibly not a misogynistic individual because of the women in his immediate family.

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