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Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron issued a gag order on former president Donald Trump after he attacked the judge’s law clerk on social media and in comments to reporters covering his New York business fraud trial.
Gag order only thing that can silence Trump
“Consider this a gag order on all parties with respect to posting or publicly speaking about any member of my staff,” Judge Engoron said on the second day of Trump’s civil trial.
Engoron said that Trump’s personal attacks on his staff would not be tolerated.
According to CNBC, the judge was angered by Trump’s post earlier Tuesday on his Truth Social site, which included disparaging comments about the clerk alongside a photo of her posing with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Trump in that post had called the clerk “Schumer’s girlfriend” and accused her of “running this case against me.”
“How disgraceful!” Trump wrote in the post. “This case should be dismissed immediately!!”
Trump mentioned Schumer and the clerk again during a break in the proceedings later that day, as he claimed that the trial was “rigged” and “fraudulent.”
The clerk is reportedly seated almost directly across from Trump in court.
Trump later deleted the post.
Also on Tuesday, Trump’s presidential campaign sent out a lengthy mass email criticizing Engoron as a “Far-Left Democrat.”
According to CNBC, the email, entitled “Meet Judge Arthur F. Engoron,” cited numerous stories in conservative media accusing Engoron of political bias.
Trump had previously targeted New York Attorney General Letitia James as a “fraud.” He called for the case to be dismissed before the trial resumed Tuesday morning.
“And she should probably be dismissed also,” he said of James, whose lawsuit is the subject of the case.
Trump Organization is accused of fraudulently valuing real estate
The attorney general accuses Trump, two of his adult sons, the Trump Organization, and top executives of fraudulently valuing real estate properties to obtain more favorable loan and insurance terms, and tax benefits.
AP News reports James scored an early victory when Engoron, a Democrat, ruled last week that Trump committed fraud by exaggerating the size of his penthouse at Trump Tower, claiming his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida was worth as much as $739 million and putting similar oversized valuations on office towers, golf courses and other assets.
The non-jury trial concerns six remaining claims in the lawsuit and how much Trump might owe in penalties.
James is seeking $250 million and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.
His sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, would also be banned from running a Gotham business.
The judge has already ruled that some of Trump’s companies should be dissolved.
Trump’s lawyers stated the financial statements were legitimate representations of the worth of unique luxury properties. They argued the properties were more valuable because of their association with Trump.
Despite Tuesday’s gag order, Trump said that he will testify in the trial “at the appropriate time.”
The trial is expected to last into December.