A recent court filing has exposed a series of disturbing threats, including hundreds of menacing, harassing, and antisemitic messages directed at Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the civil fraud trial involving former President Donald Trump in New York.
These threats, aimed at both the judge and his principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, have raised significant security concerns. Captain Charles Hollon, the court officer, outlined the troubling content of these messages in an affidavit.
One voicemail ominously declared, “Trust me. Trust me when I say this. I will come for you. I don’t care. Ain’t nobody gonna stop me either.”
Another message labeled Judge Engoron a “dirty, treasonous piece of trash snake” and issued a warning, “We are coming to remove you permanently.” Greenfield, the judge’s law clerk, has been enduring daily harassment, doxing, and exposure to antisemitic tropes.
These threats coincide with the civil fraud trial against Trump, where the former president has twice violated the gag order imposed by Judge Engoron.
While an appeals court temporarily halted the gag order, citing Trump’s constitutional rights, the recent surge in threats has led to calls for its reinstatement.
Attorney Lisa Evans argued that Trump’s behavior, including the torrent of threats, justifies the imposition of limited gag orders to ensure the safety of court staff.
Emphasizing that the First Amendment doesn’t prohibit courts from restricting speech that endangers the safety of court staff, Evans highlighted the broad discretion courts have to manage the conduct of litigants and attorneys in ongoing proceedings.
Despite the threats, Trump has persisted in criticizing Judge Engoron, Greenfield, and New York Attorney General Letitia James on his social media platform, Truth Social.
[I]T IS UNQUESTIONABLE THAT THE CONDUCT ENGAGED IN BY PETITIONERS [TRUMP AND HIS LEGAL TEAM] — THE DELUGE OF THE COURT’S CHAMBERS PHONE AND THE LAW CLERK’S PERSONAL CELL PHONE, PERSONAL EMAILS AND SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS WITH HUNDREDS OF THREATENING, HARASSING, DISPARAGING AND ANTISEMITIC MESSAGES — WHICH THREATENS THE SAFETY OF COURT STAFF IS THE TYPE OF COUNTERVAILING INTEREST BEING SERVED THAT WARRANTS THE IMPOSITION OF THE LIMITED GAG ORDERS IMPOSED BY THE COURT.