The New York judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial on Friday fined the former US president $5,000 for disobeying a partial gag order and warned him that further violations could result in jail time.
The 77-year-old Donald Trump was given ten days to pay the fine to the New York Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, according to Judge Arthur Engoron.
“Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to far more severe sanctions,” Engoron said in a court document.
The judge continued, “(These) may include, but are not limited to, stiffer monetary sanctions, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court, and potentially imprisoning him in accordance with New York Judiciary Law.”
On October 3, Engoron issued a restricted gag order against the former president for insulting the judge’s top legal assistant in a social media post on his Truth Social platform.
The offensive message was taken down from Truth Social the same day, but the judge complained in his Friday filing that it was still available on a website promoting Trump’s 2024 campaign for 17 days after the court requested its removal on Thursday.
According to Engoron, Trump’s attorneys informed him that the breach of the gag order was “inadvertent.”
“Giving the defendant the benefit of the doubt, he still violated the gag order,” the judge declared. Incendiary lies can, and in some cases already have, caused serious physical harm and worse in the current hot environment.
Engoron announced he was issuing a partial gag order on October 3 while Trump sat at the defense table, “forbidding all parties from posting, emailing, or speaking publicly about any of my staff.”
Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, and his two eldest sons are charged in a New York case with inflating the value of the Trump Organization’s real estate holdings to qualify for better insurance and bank loan terms.
Trump has frequently referred to the judge as a “Trump-hating judge,” but Engoron’s verbal gag order simply directed an end to insults on his court personnel.
The federal judge who will preside over Trump’s trial for attempting to rig the 2020 election placed a partial gag order on the former president on Monday.
Before the trial, which will begin in Washington in March 2024, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan forbade Trump from criticizing the prosecution, the court’s staff, or potential witnesses.
In order to give Trump’s legal team time to establish why the former president’s remarks shouldn’t be subject to limitations as his case moves toward trial, Chutkan temporarily relaxed her severe gag order on Friday.
France Press Agency