New York judge fines Trump $10K violating partial gag order in civil fraud trial

Former President Trump was fined $10,000 on Wednesday for violating the partial gag order imposed by New York Judge Arthur Engoron in the civil trial stemming from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against him and the Trump Organization. Engoron imposed a partial gag order earlier this month, blocking all parties from making derogatory statements about his court staff. Engoron fined Trump on Friday $5,000 for violating the order on social media, and threatened imprisonment if further violations were committed. NEW YORK JUDGE FINES TRUMP $5K FOR VIOLATING PARTIAL GAG ORDER IN CIVIL FRAUD TRIAL On Wednesday, Engoron asked that the former president take the stand during the civil trial, and discussed statements Trump made to the press earlier in the day about “a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside” the judge.  When Engoron asked who Trump was referring to, the former president replied: “You and Cohen.” Trump was referring to Engoron and Michael Cohen, his former lawyer who took the stand and testified against him on Tuesday.  The judge pressed him again, and asked if he was sure he was not referring to his clerk. “Yes I’m sure,” Trump said. Engoron said that, in the past, Trump had criticized and referred to his clerk. “I think she’s very unfair,” Trump said, adding that she is “biased against us.”  But Engoron said his principal clerk “is very close to me,” and ruled, instead, that Trump was referring to his law clerk.  Engoron fined Trump $10,000, which he said is, “on the liberal side.” JUDGE IMPOSES PARTIAL GAG ORDER IN TRUMP ORG. TRIAL BLOCKING PARTIES FROM VERBAL ATTACKS AGAINST COURT STAFF Trump attorneys argued against the fine, saying it was unusual to have a law clerk on the bench with the judge. Attorney Alina Habba calling it “inappropriate.”  Habba said the clerk rolled her eyes, to which Habba said: “The influence from your bench is inappropriate.”  Engoron fired back saying: “I make the final decisions. I value input from both of my law clerks.”  In regard to the clerks sitting next to him, he says, “that’s how I do things.” Engoron ultimately ruled that Trump was referring to his clerk, and fined him $10,000.  The partial gag order was imposed earlier this month after Trump posted on his Truth Social account saying that Engoron’s law clerk had a relationship with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The post also contained a photo. Trump added that because of that, the case “should be dismissed immediately.”  Trump told Engoron he had deleted the post, but the judge discovered a copy of the post remained on Trump’s campaign website. Engoron fined Trump $5,000 on Friday.  TRUMP JUDGE FACES ONLINE BACKLASH AFTER SMILING, POSING FOR CAMERAS IN COURTROOM: ‘PARTISAN DEMOCRAT CLOWN’ “Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to far more severe sanctions, which may include, but are not limited to, steeper financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court, and possibly imprisoning him pursuant to New York Judiciary Law,” Engoron said in a filing Friday.  The trial comes after James, a Democrat, brought a lawsuit against Trump last year alleging he and his company misled banks and others about the value of his assets. James claimed Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, as well as his associates and businesses, committed “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” on their financial statements. Engoron, last month, ruled that Trump and the Trump Organization committed fraud while building his real estate empire by deceiving banks, insurers and others by overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing. Engoron’s ruling came after James sued Trump, his children and the Trump Organization, alleging that the former president “inflated his net worth by billions of dollars,” and said his children helped him to do so.
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