Donald Trump Civil Fraud Trail: Former US President fined $10,000 for second gag order violation

This penalty was imposed due to Trump's repeated violation of a gag order, which prohibited him from making disparaging remarks about court staff.

Livemint, Written By Jocelyn Fernandes (with inputs from Reuters)
Updated26 Oct 2023, 07:09 AM IST
Former President Donald Trump speaks at his Mar-a-Lago estate
Former President Donald Trump speaks at his Mar-a-Lago estate(AP)

Former United States President Donald Trump was fined $10,000 on Wednesday by Justice Arthur Engoron, the New York judge overseeing his civil fraud trial. This penalty was imposed due to Trump's repeated violation of a gag order, which prohibited him from making disparaging remarks about court staff.

Justice Engoron had initially implemented the gag order on October 3, after Trump shared a photo on social media featuring the judge's top clerk alongside US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat. In the post, Trump falsely claimed that the clerk was Schumer's "girlfriend."

Also Read: Former President Donald Trump compares himself to Nelson Mandela after filing for New Hampshire primary

Trump's Violation

During a break in the case, which was brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James regarding Trump's business practices, Trump made comments to reporters in a hallway. He referred to the judge as a "very partisan judge" with a "partisan" person sitting alongside him, insinuating that the clerk was the partisan individual.

Justice Engoron considered Trump's comments as a clear violation of the gag order and labeled it as "blatant." Trump briefly took the witness stand and attempted to explain that he was referring to the judge and Michael Cohen. However, the judge rejected this interpretation and warned Trump not to repeat such violations in the future.

Following the fine, Trump, who is a frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 US Presidential Election, left the courtroom.

Also Read: ‘Democracies can die when…’ Joe Biden's attack on Donald Trump, MAGA movement

Background 

It's important to note that Justice Engoron had previously fined Trump $5,000 on October 20 for failing to remove a post disparaging the clerk. The judge had warned that further infractions could result in more severe sanctions, including the possibility of jail time.

The trial itself revolves around allegations that Trump and his family business, the Trump Organization, manipulated asset values and net worth to deceive lenders and insurers. The case has the potential to impact Trump's business empire significantly.

Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer and key witness, testified over two days, alleging that Trump inflated the value of real estate assets for favorable insurance premiums. Cohen's credibility was challenged by Trump's legal team, who suggested he had a financial incentive to criticize Trump.

The trial's outcome will be determined by Justice Engoron, and the allegations against Trump include tax fraud and campaign finance violations in addition to the civil fraud charges.

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First Published:26 Oct 2023, 07:09 AM IST
HomeNewsWorldDonald Trump Civil Fraud Trail: Former US President fined $10,000 for second gag order violation

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