The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York fined the former US president $10,000 on Wednesday for violating an order not to criticize court staff.
Judge Arthur Engoron imposed the fine – Trump’s second – after finding that comments he made to reporters during a break in proceedings violated a partial confidentiality order issued three weeks ago.
Engoron imposed a limited gag order on Trump on Oct. 3 after he insulted the judge’s chief clerk in a post on his Truth Social platform.
The offending post was deleted by Truth Social, but the judge fined Trump $5,000 last week for failing to promptly remove it from his 2024 presidential campaign website.
The latest fine came after Trump said Engoron was a “very partisan judge who has a person sitting next to him who is very partisan, maybe even much more partisan than him.”
Trump’s lawyers said the former president was referring to witness Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer-turned-bitter enemy, and not the clerk sitting next to him in court.
The judge briefly called Trump to the stand to explain himself, and the former president reiterated that he was referring to Cohen.
After Trump spoke, the judge said “the defendant was not credible” and imposed the fine.
Shortly afterwards, Trump abruptly left the courtroom.
The leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Trump and his two eldest sons are accused of inflating the value of the Trump Organization’s real estate assets in order to obtain more favorable bank loans and insurance terms.
The former president has repeatedly attacked Engoron, calling him a “Trump-hating judge,” but the Oct. 3 gag order merely ordered an end to attacks on court staff.
The federal judge set to preside over Trump’s trial in March on charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election also issued a partial gag order against the former president, but temporarily lifted it to give Trump’s legal team time to file their objections.
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Source : www.ndtv.com