Former President Trump Faces Partial Gag Order in Federal Case

Donald Trump Issued a Gag Order | Source: Bloomberg

Former President Donald Trump has been at the center of a legal battle in a civil fraud trial in New York, where he has been fined $10,000 for violating a gag order imposed by Justice Arthur Engoron. The gag order prohibited Trump from disparaging court staff, and this is the second time he has been fined for violating it. The latest violation occurred when Trump made disparaging remarks about the judge’s clerk during a break in the trial, prompting the judge to describe the comments as a “blatant” violation of the gag order.

The trial, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, concerns Trump’s business practices, with James seeking at least $250 million in fines and other penalties. The reinstatement of the gag order by a federal appeals court indicates that the issue is far from over. The appeals court’s decision to reinstate the gag order came after an individual appellate judge had put the order on hold while the appeals process played out. Trial judge Engoron, who imposed the restriction, has stated that he plans to enforce it “rigorously and vigorously.” Trump’s attorney called the reinstatement of the gag order “a tragic day for the rule of law,” while a spokesperson for Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign described it as “nothing but attempted election interference, which is failing terribly”.

The issue of the gag order in the federal election subversion case also sheds new light on a consistent concern about the impact of Trump’s rhetoric and the extent to which his statements could incite violence. This is, after all, a former president who told his supporters to “fight like Hell” for their country immediately before his mob smashed its way into the US Capitol and tried to halt certification of the election on January 6, 2021. The incitement issue is not a hypothetical one in the gag order case. Trump has already attacked former Vice President Mike Pence and the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

In a statement Thursday, Trump lawyer Chris Kise said the appeals court decision marked a “tragic day for the rule of law.” “In a country where the First Amendment is sacrosanct, President Trump may not even comment on why he thinks he cannot get a fair trial. Hard to imagine a more unfair process and hard to believe this is happening in America,” Kise said.

About the Author

Adi Hansoty
Adi Hansoty is a junior at IMSA who lives in 07 B-wing. He is from Long Grove and is very excited to serve as a staff writer. Outside of writing, he likes to play sports, guitar, and listen to music.

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