Trump Hit With Gag Order in NY Civil Trial

Judge's order followed Truth Social post about law clerk
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 3, 2023 4:48 PM CDT
Judge Imposes Gag Order in Trump Civil Trial
Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a break in his civil business fraud trial at New York Supreme Court, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A New York judge sternly imposed a limited gag order in Donald Trump's civil business fraud trial Tuesday after the former president disparaged a key court staffer. Amid a long day of testimony, Judge Arthur Engoron issued the order, which applies to all parties in the case and pertains to verbal attacks on court staff. It came after Trump maligned Engoron's principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, in a social media post, the AP reports. The post included a photo of Greenfield with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at a public event. Trump, the GOP front-runner for president in 2024, has repeatedly cast the lawsuit and trial as a political attack by New York's Democratic attorney general, Letitia James.

In the Truth Social post, Trump wrote that it was "disgraceful" that Greenfield was working with the judge in the courtroom. Trump also commented on the clerk's role with the judge on Monday, saying that she "should not be allowed to be in his ear on every single question" and "hates Trump." CNN reports that Trump, who was voluntarily attending the trial for a second day, looked straight ahead at the judge as he issued the order. "Although I have since ordered the post deleted and apparently it was, it was also emailed out to millions of other recipients," Engoron said.

"Consider this statement an order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing, or speaking publicly about any members of my staff," the judge said, adding that failure to abide by the order "will result in serious sanctions." The gag order came after Trump and lawyers for both sides repeatedly went into court behind closed doors during Tuesday's lunch break. They had another private discussion after testimony ended, with journalists and others shooed again from the courtroom. Trump emerged saying that he'd be back Wednesday.

(Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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