The New York judge presiding over the civil fraud trial against Donald Trump fined the former US president $5,000 on Friday for failing to comply with a partial gag order and threatened him with possible prison time for future violations.
Judge Arthur Engoron ordered the 77-year-old Trump to pay the fine to the New York Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection within 10 days.
“Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to much more severe sanctions,” Engoron said in a court filing.
“(These) could include, but are not limited to, increased financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court and potentially imprisoning him under New York judicial law,” the judge added.
Engoron issued a limited silence order to the former president on October 3 after he insulted the judge’s chief clerk in a social media post on his Truth Social platform.
The offending post was removed from Truth Social the same day, but the judge complained in his filing Friday that it remained on a Trump 2024 campaign website for 17 days until the court asked Thursday to remove it.
Engoron said Trump’s lawyers told him the gag order violation was “unintentional.”
“By giving the defendant the benefit of the doubt, he still violated the gag order,” the judge said. “In today’s overheated climate, inflammatory falsehoods can lead to serious bodily harm, or worse, and have already done so in the same cases.”
On Oct. 3, as Trump sat at the defense table, Engoron said he issued a partial gag order “prohibiting all parties from publicly posting, emailing or speaking publicly about my staff.”
Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and his two eldest sons are accused in the New York case of inflating the value of the Trump Organization’s real estate assets to receive more favorable bank loans and insurance terms.
Trump has repeatedly personally attacked the judge, calling him a “Trump-hating judge,” but Engoron’s verbal silence order only ordered a halt to attacks on his court staff.
On Monday, the federal judge scheduled to preside over Trump’s trial on charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election also imposed a partial gag order on the former president.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered Trump not to publicly attack prosecutors, court staff or potential witnesses ahead of the trial scheduled to begin in Washington in March 2024.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)