Former President Donald Trump has been cautioned by Justice Engoron to exercise restraint in his public statements and social media postings, or he may face potential incarceration for up to one month, as reported by Deadline.
During the second day of the former president’s trial for financial fraud, Judge Arthur Engoron issued a limited gag order that applies to all parties involved in the civil case. The order aims to prevent verbal attacks and social media posts targeting members of the court staff.
Engoron emphasized that personal attacks on court staff members are unacceptable and inappropriate. His actions were prompted by a partisan and disparaging post made by Trump on his Truth Social platform, targeting the judge’s principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield.
The now-deleted post included a picture of Greenfield standing next to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as “Schumer’s girlfriend.” Such partisan tactics have been commonly employed during the prosecution of the case by the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat.
This marked the first time that any judge had imposed a gag order on the combative former president, who was present at the trial for the second consecutive day.
Justice Engoron has ordered the removal of the post made by former President Donald Trump. He has also cautioned that failure to comply with this order could result in significant consequences, including fines, additional restrictions, and the possibility of imprisonment for up to 30 days.
In response to the order, Trump promptly removed the post to avoid potential sanctions. The civil fraud case involves allegations that Trump, along with two of his children and their companies, significantly inflated the value of assets and Trump’s net worth while seeking financing from banks and other institutions.
Last week, Engoron ruled on much of the case, finding Trump guilty of fraud and revoking the Trump family’s control over a substantial portion of their New York real estate holdings.
The ongoing bench trial primarily focuses on determining the amount of damages. The New York Attorney General, who filed the case in September 2022, seeks to recover up to $250 million from the Trump family.
In addition to this gag order in New York state court, Trump faces a pending motion in a federal court in Washington, D.C., seeking to restrict his public statements and postings related to another indictment.
It remains to be seen whether these measures will deter Trump from his penchant for attacking judges, court staff, and officials online and in public discourse, given his history of responding aggressively to such attempts to limit his behavior.