Expanding Gag Order in Trump’s Civil Fraud Trial
Judge Expands Gag Order in Trump’s Trial
In a civil fraud trial involving Donald Trump, the judge has issued an expanded gag order. This order now includes Trump’s attorneys due to ongoing discussions about the judge’s communication with his law clerk during court proceedings.
Prohibition of Comments on Judge’s Communications
In a written order issued on Friday, Judge Arthur Engoron has prohibited Trump’s attorneys from making any further comments about confidential communications between the judge and his staff, whether inside or outside the courtroom.
Protecting Staff from Harassment and Threats
The judge emphasized the need to protect his staff from harassment and threats. He stated, “Since the commencement of this bench trial, my chambers have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters, and packages. The First Amendment right of defendants and their attorneys to comment on my staff is far and away outweighed by the need to protect them from threats and physical harm.”
Serious Sanctions for Violating the Order
The judge made it clear that violating the gag order would result in “serious sanctions.”
Previous Enforcement of Gag Order
During the initial week of the trial, Judge Engoron enforced a gag order that prohibited parties from discussing his staff. This was in response to a social media post from Trump attacking the judge’s clerk and featuring a picture of her with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Fines for Breaking the Order
Engoron has already imposed fines on Trump twice for violating the order. The first fine was $5,000 because Trump’s post had not been taken down from his website, which his lawyers claimed was inadvertent. The second fine, amounting to $10,000, was imposed after Trump appeared to reference the clerk while speaking to reporters outside the courtroom.
Accusations Against the Clerk
Trump’s legal team has consistently clashed with Judge Engoron regarding his clerk during the trial. They have accused her of “rolling her eyes” during testimony and claimed that she is unfairly influencing the judge.
Concerns of Co-Judging
On Thursday, Trump’s attorney Chris Kise raised concerns about “co-judging” occurring in the trial. He noted that someone frequently provided the judge with information, estimating it to be around 30 to 40 times the previous day.
Judge’s Right to Seek Counsel
Judge Engoron asserted his right to seek counsel from his clerk, emphasizing that Trump’s legal team has no right to know the content of their communications. He stated, “She’s a civil servant, she’s doing what I ask her to do.” The judge described the notes as “confidential communications from my law clerk.”
This story is breaking and will be updated.
Read More of this Story at www.cnn.com – 2023-11-03 19:06:00
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