On Friday, the Manhattan judge overseeing the civil fraud case brought forth by New York Attorney General Letitia James against Donald Trump, Trump family members, and the Trump Organization, issued a gag order against the 2024 GOP frontrunner’s lawyers in the case.
Judge Arthur Engoron wrote in the order, “I hereby order that all counsel are prohibited from making any public statements, in or out of court, that refer to any confidential communications, in any form, between my staff and me.”
“Failure to abide by this directive shall result in serious sanctions.”
The order recounts that on October 3, Trump was hit with a gag order after posting an “untrue, disparaging, and personally identifying post about my Principle Law Clerk.”
The initial gag order forbids “all parties from posting, emailing, or speaking publicly about any members of my staff.”
The order came in response to a post to Truth Social made by Trump regarding Engoron’s clerk, with Trump being ordered to delete the post.
Trump was fined $5,000 on October 20 after finding that the post was not removed from a campaign website, and was fined again on October 25, this time for $10,000, after he told reporters outside the court room, “this judge is a very partisan judge with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside him, perhaps even more partisan than he is.”
“I imposed the gag order only upon the parties, operating under the assumption that such a gag order would be unnecessary upon the attorneys, who are officers of the Court.”
Engoron wrote that Trump attorneys Christopher Kise, Clifford Robert, and Alina Habba, “have made, on the record, inappropriate remarks about my Principle law Clerk, accusing her of bias against them and of improperly influencing the ongoing bench trial.”
The judge said that the defendants are not “entitled to the confidential communications amongst me and my court staff. Nor are they entitled to continue referring my staff in the record.”
“Defendants' First Amendment arguments in opposition to the imposition are wholly unpersuasive. This gag order is as narrowly tailored as possible to accomplish its purpose, which is to protect the safety of my staff and promote the orderly progression of this trial. As I have made clear, as the Judge in this case and the trier of fact, the gag order does not apply to me. However, I will not tolerate, under any circumstances, remarks about my court staff.”