NY Appeals Court Reinstates Gag Order in Trump Civil Fraud CaseNovember 30, 2023
A mid-level appeals court on Thursday reinstated a pair of gag orders, banning Donald Trump and his attorneys from commenting on the judge presiding over his civil fraud trial. In a brief order, the First Department appellate division rejected Trump’s attempts to dismiss orders barring him and his attorneys from public remarks about the civil servants who staff state Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron’s courtroom and holding him in contempt for violating them, setting Trump back $15,000 in fines. Trump is still free to criticize the judge and state Attorney General Tish James. Trump attorney Chris Kise said it was a “tragic day for the rule of law,” and questioned the fairness of the process. The appeals court temporarily suspended the gag orders following a request for emergency relief from Trump’s lawyers. Threats against Judge Engoron and his staff increased after Trump’s civil fraud trial began in October. The judge imposed the gag order after Trump made inflammatory remarks about the judge’s principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield. Greenfield received numerous calls and messages containing antisemitic diatribes. Trump, his sons, and top executives have already been found liable for fraud in the AG’s $250 million case, with the trial continuing.