Nov 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

N.Y. judge in Trump's civil fraud trial issues gag order on lawyers

Justice Arthur Engoron presides over former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial during his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on November 03, 2023 in New York City

Justice Arthur Engoron presides over former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial on Nov. 3 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The judge overseeing former President Trump's civil fraud trial in New York issued a limited gag order on the attorneys in the case, calling out three of Trump's lawyers in a Friday filing.

Why it matters: New York Judge Arthur Engoron wrote that since the trial started, his chambers "have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters and packages."

  • "The First Amendment right of defendants and their attorneys to comment on my staff is far and away outweighed by the need to protect them from threats and physical harm," he wrote.

Driving the news: The order restricts attorneys in the case from making public statements that refer to any confidential communications between Engoron and his staff.

  • Engoron said that Trump lawyers Christoper Kise, Clifford Robert and Alina Habba "have made, on the record, repeated, inappropriate remarks about my Principal Law Clerk."
  • Any violations of the order would result in "serious sanctions," per the order.

Zoom in: Engoron last month issued a gag order on Trump after he made a post on his Truth Social account attacking the judge's law clerk.

  • Trump was subsequently fined $5,000 after the judge learned that a Truth Social post attacking the law clerk remained on Trump's campaign site, despite an order to remove the post.
  • Trump was also fined $10,000 for violating his gag order a second time after the former president appeared to reference the judge's law clerk in remarks to reporters last month.

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