On Friday, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron threatened Donald Trump with jail time for a “blatant violation” of a partial gag order related to the $250 million civil fraud trial in New York.
Engoron fined Trump $5,000 for the ‘violation’ over a Truth Social post about a ‘key court staffer’ in the trial.
The judge said future violations would result in “far more severe sanctions,” such as imprisonment.
Here is the Truth Social Post in question:
#Breaking News: Judge Arthur Engoron has threatened to imprison President Donald Trump if he can’t provide a valid reason for breaking the partial gag order.
Trump made a post saying that a law clerk was a girlfriend of Chuck Schumer and even provided pictures. Engoron… pic.twitter.com/XIvR04yxY2
— 🇺🇸Travis🇺🇸 (@Travis_in_Flint) October 20, 2023
Judge Arthur Engoron has threatened to imprison President Donald Trump if he can’t provide a valid reason for breaking the partial gag order.Advertisement
Trump made a post saying that a law clerk was a girlfriend of Chuck Schumer and even provided pictures. Engoron demanded it be removed and it was. Unknown to the Trump team, the post stayed on his website even after being deleted.
Once the Trump team was notified of this, they immediately removed it. Judge Engoron told Trumps defense today that unless Trump can explain why he doesn’t deserve to go to jail, he may imprison him.
What kind of joke of a justice system do we have when the President of the United States can be thrown in jail during a civil trial and not even a criminal case?
According to the Associated Press, the Truth Social post about the court staffer in the civil fraud trial remained on his “campaign website for weeks after the judge ordered it deleted.”
Judge Arthur Engoron avoided holding Trump in contempt for now, but reserved the right to do so — and possibly even put the 2024 Republican front-runner in jail — if he again violates a limited gag order barring case participants from personal attacks on court staff.
Engoron said in a written ruling that he is “way beyond the ‘warning’ stage,” but that he was only fining Trump a nominal amount because this was a “first time violation” and Trump’s lawyers said the website’s retention of the post had been inadvertent.
“Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to far more severe sanctions, which may include steeper financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court, and possibly imprisoning him,” Engoron wrote in a two-page order.
Messages seeking comment on the ruling were left with Trump’s lawyers and a campaign spokesman.
Trump lawyer Christopher Kise earlier blamed the “very large machine” of Trump’s White House campaign for allowing the post to remain on the website after Trump had deleted it from social media, as ordered, calling it an unintentional oversight. It was removed from the website late Thursday after Engoron flagged it to Trump’s lawyers.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 20, 2023
The New York Post added:
Trump was ordered to pay the $5,000 within 10 days to the New York Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, a public trust that reimburses legal clients for financial losses caused by “dishonest” legal conduct.
Engoron’s ruling came hours after the seething judge grilled Trump’s lawyers before the trial resumed Friday morning on why the 2024 GOP frontrunner had not removed the social media post, which baselessly accused Greenfield of being “Schumer’s girlfriend.”
The post included a photo of Greenfield and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), at a campaign event.
A Schumer spokeswoman has called Trump’s post “ridiculous, absurd, and false,” saying that the senator does not know Greenfield.
Trump attorney Chris Kise claimed that the social media screenshot had been posted “automatically” to Trump’s campaign website, and said it was an oversight that the post remained up until last night.