Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends the trial in a civil fraud case brought by Attorney General Letitia James against him, his adult sons, the Trump Organization and others on October 3, 2023 in New York City.

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

A New York appeals court on Thursday reinstated the confidentiality order against Donald Trump in his $250 million civil lawsuit over corporate fraud.

The orders prohibit Trump from making public statements about the associates of Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the ongoing trial.

Engoron imposed the gag order on Trump after Trump repeatedly targeted the judge’s senior law clerk, Allison Greenfield. Engoron later imposed a similar gag order on Trump’s lawyers, barring them from making public statements about confidential communications between the judge and his staff. The gag orders against Trump’s lawyers were also reinstated on Thursday.

Engoron said his rooms were “inundated” with threats and harassment against him and his staff during the trial. An official who monitors threats for the public safety division of the New York court system told the appeals court in an affidavit that Trump’s comments about Greenfield triggered “hundreds” of threatening messages, many of which were anti-Semitic.

In its ruling Thursday, a four-judge appeals panel lifted a temporary stay on gag orders against Trump and his lawyers that had been issued while Trump appealed the speech restrictions.

The one-line ruling came three days after Trump’s lawyers asked the appeals court not to reinstate the silence orders, saying they unconstitutionally blocked Trump from accusing Engoron and Greenfield of political bias.

Engoron has found that Trump violated his gag order twice and has fined the former president a total of $15,000 since the fraud trial began in early October.

The brief order does not stop Trump from attacking Engoron or New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the case and accused him and his co-defendants of falsely inflating Trump’s assets for financial gain.

Trump has repeatedly attacked both, calling the judge a “Trump hater” and describing the case as a “witch hunt.”

On Wednesday, Trump sent at least six separate Truth Social posts aimed at Engoron’s wife, accusing her of criticizing Trump and commenting on the trial on X, formerly Twitter. Engoron’s wife told Newsweek earlier this month that she does not have an account with X and has not posted any anti-Trump messages.

Trump sent at least three more posts on Thursday alleging that Engoron’s wife had been sending anti-Trump messages on social media.

Engoron has already blamed Trump, his two adult sons, the Trump Organization and its top executives for fraudulently misrepresenting the values ​​of real estate and other assets. The hearing will determine penalties and resolve other allegations of misconduct in James’ lawsuit.

In addition to demanding damages of around $250 million, James wants to permanently ban Trump Sr., Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump from running a New York company.

On Thursday morning, Engoron extended the planned end of the trial from mid-December. He set closing arguments for Jan. 11 after Trump’s lawyers asked for more time to prepare.

The defense is expected to call Trump back to the stand on December 11 as the final witness. Engoron plans to issue a verdict in the case several weeks after the trial ends.

Source : www.cnbc.com

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