Judge upholds Trump’s $10,000 fine for violating gag order

Jane Rosenberg/Reuters

In this courtroom sketch, former President Donald Trump speaks before being fined $10,000 by Judge Arthur F. Interrogated by Engoran. York City, US, October 25, 2023

New York

Justice Arthur Engoron supported him on Thursday $10,000 injunction against Donald Trump The former president rejected another appeal by Trump’s lawyers to drop the fine after the former president violated a gag order barring public comments about the judge’s staff.

Before trial testimony began Thursday morning, Trump’s lawyer, Chris Kiss, again asked Engoron to reconsider the penalty against Trump. Engoron responded by telling reporters Wednesday that he was watching a video of Trump’s comments that prompted the fine and reconsideration.

“Anyone can run for the presidency. I am going to protect my employees,” Engoron said.

After the court’s first break of the day, Engoron returned and said the penalty stood, reaffirming his ruling after watching the video.

The judge said there was a “clear transition” between Trump’s comments referring to Engron’s clerk and the subsequent comment about Michael Cohen.

Trump’s legal team has indicated it plans to appeal the latest sanctions against the former president. They have already appealed two other bans imposed in the case.

The sanctions against Trump stemmed from comments he made during a break in Wednesday’s hearing in the courtroom’s hallway while Cohen, his former attorney and adjuster, took the stand.

“This judge is a very partisan judge, and he has a very partisan person sitting with him — maybe even more partisan than him,” Trump said.

Engoron placed a gag order in the first week of the hearing after Trump posted on social media attacking his clerk.

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Even the judge issued a written order enlarging the judgment From Wednesday.

“The use of imprecise language as an excuse to create plausible ambiguity as to whether the defendant violated this court’s clear gag order is not a defense; the meaning of Donald Trump’s public statement to the press was unquestionably clear,” the judge wrote Thursday. I see mention, he has deliberately violated the gag order.”

Kiss made a lengthy application to the judge to reconsider the sanctions ruling, first reiterating that Trump was referring to Michael Cohen in his statement on Wednesday. But he added that if Trump was indeed referring to the clerk, he had the right to do so because it was a comment on his personal opinion about bias in open court proceedings.

“The irony here — the big irony — is, on the one hand, you say Mr. Trump didn’t mention my law clerk, and then you make this whole argument that he’s sitting right here,” Engoron said. The first discussion of fines.

Kiss called the investigation political, and while Trump spoke about the clerk, he did not name her, and he made observations about the fairness of her investigation, which should be protected under his First Amendment rights.

“I don’t consider this investigation political,” Engoron replied.

Engoron said First Amendment protections “have limits,” especially since the gag order’s purpose was to protect his employees.

“There are basically three people. “I don’t think it affects anyone’s First Amendment rights,” he said.

On Wednesday, Kiss said Trump was referring to Cohen, not Engron’s clerk. But the judge didn’t buy the explanation, and even convened his own emergency hearing on the matter on Wednesday, calling Trump to the witness stand in an unusual moment.

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In his written order Thursday, Engoran said Trump’s explanation that he was talking about Cohen did not add up.

“Witnesses don’t sit ‘with’ the judge, they sit in the witness box, separated from the judge by a low wooden barrier,” Engoron wrote, adding that Trump’s language echoed his earlier attacks against his clerk.

Engoran said it was within his discretion to have the law clerk sit with him and discuss matters on the bench. He added that it makes him a better judge.

After lunch, Kiss asks Engoron to write the cake order into a formal court order, as it is currently only memorialized in the court transcript. Trump’s attorney asked for a photo of the bench so the appeals court could see the layout while explaining Trump’s comments about who was sitting with the judge.

Engoron agreed to place the gag order on the court order, and joked that Engoron could sit in the witness box for the photo because he was Cohen’s size. Kiss replied that he was not photogenic.

TrumpMeanwhile, Jupiter continued to attack Engoron on his social media.

“A far-left judge yesterday fined me $10,000 for a bogus and completely frivolous case brought against me by the New York State AG (which should have been handled by the Commerce Division, but never was!). A so-called cake order,” Trump wrote. “Before the trial even started, Michael Cohen collapsed and choked yesterday, fully admitting that I had done nothing wrong and the real facts were long before he had the judge find me guilty.”

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Trump was not in court Thursday. He left court Wednesday afternoon and returned to Florida.

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