Updated Oct 20, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump fined $5,000 by N.Y. judge for violating gag order in civil fraud trial

Former President Trump during a break in his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on Oct. 18. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The judge overseeing former President Trump's New York civil fraud trial fined the former president $5,000 on Friday for violating his gag order, according to a court filing.

Why it matters: Judge Arthur Engoron did not hold Trump in contempt as he threatened earlier on Friday, but said that "future violations, whether intentional or unintentional," could result in possible jail time or steeper financial penalties.

The big picture: Engoron earlier on Friday said that a Truth Social post attacking his law clerk remained accessible on Trump's campaign site for more than two weeks, despite an order to remove the post earlier this month.

  • "I learned that the subject post was never removed from the website," Engoron said in court Friday, per CNN. The judge added that the post was removed only after the court emailed Trump's legal team late Thursday.
  • "I will now provide defendants an opportunity to explain why this blatant violation of this gag order should not result in serious sanctions including financial penalties… and or possibly imprisonment."
  • Trump's attorney apologized and said the violation was "inadvertent."

Catch up quick: Trump returned to the Manhattan courthouse this week for his trial, voluntarily appearing in person several times in recent weeks in an unusual campout.

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump and members of his family last year accusing them of financial fraud.

Of note: Trump is also facing a narrow gag order in his Jan. 6 criminal case.

  • The order bars "interested parties," including Trump, from making any public statements targeting the special counsel or his staff, witnesses or court staff.

Go deeper: What we know about the Trump civil fraud trial in New York

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details and developments.

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