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New York judge brings back gag order on Donald Trump in civil fraud trial

Former President Donald Trump exits the courtroom after testifying at his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on November 06, 2023 in New York City.
Michael M. Santiago
/
Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump exits the courtroom after testifying at his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on November 06, 2023 in New York City.

A gag order placed on former President Donald Trump is back after it was temporarily lifted earlier this month.

Associate Justice David Friedman ruled to temporarily lift the gag order earlier this month while deciding whether to accept an appeal from the Trump legal team.

The gag order, which was issued by New York Judge Arthur Engoron during the first week of Trump's civil fraud trial, prohibits either party from commenting about Engoron's staff.

According to court filings, Engoron's legal clerk has received dozens of calls to her cell phone, as well as social media messages and e-mails. Engoron has said since the start of the trial, his chambers have received hundreds of threatening calls, letters, and packages.

Engoron has argued the order is to protect his staff.

Trump's lawyers have argued the order is unconstitutional.

Trump has already been fined twice, totaling $15,000, for violating the order.

Trump was first fined $5,000 for violating the gag order after a Truth Social post about the judge's clerk was made and stayed on the Trump campaign website.

Trump was fined$10,000 and called up to the witness stand for comments he made to reporters outside the courtroom arguing that not only was the judge partisan, so was someone sitting "alongside him." Engoron took this to mean his law clerk, who sits to his right.

"I am very protective of my staff," Engoron said during a court hearing several weeks ago, and threatened future "severe sanctions."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.
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