Judge Issues Limited Gag Order in Trump's Civil Fraud Case After Remarks on Court Clerk

In Donald Trump's ongoing civil fraud case, the presiding judge, Arthur Engoron, has imposed a limited gag order following the former president's "disparaging" comments about a court clerk.

Mr. Trump had directed criticism towards Judge Engoron's clerk via a post on his social media platform, Truth Social.

Judge Engoron cautioned that "serious sanctions" would be imposed for any violations of the gag order.

Trump has repeatedly launched personal attacks against Judge Engoron, labeling him "deranged" and a "rogue adjudicator."

However, Tuesday's gag order specifically pertains to public remarks against court staff members and does not impose a broader restriction.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump shared a photo of principal clerk Allison Greenfield alongside Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at a campaign event. In the post, he referred to Ms. Greenfield as "Schumer's girlfriend" and called for the dismissal of the case against him.

Following a court recess, Judge Engoron, without naming anyone, made reference to the social media incident, stating that a defendant had "posted to a social media account a disparaging, untrue, and personally identifying post about a member of my staff."

He underscored that "personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate, and I will not tolerate them under any circumstances." The judge cautioned that failure to adhere to this order would result in significant sanctions.

Judge Engoron clarified that his statement constituted a gag order, prohibiting any posts, emails, or public remarks regarding court staff members.

The post on Trump's social media platform, Truth Social, was deleted following the judge's directive.

Trump has consistently characterized the trial as a "fraud" and a "scam," vowing to testify in his defense when the time is right.

Regarding his potential testimony, he affirmed, "Yes, I will. At the appropriate time, I will be."

The former president, along with his two adult sons and the broader Trump Organization, faces allegations of significantly inflating property values by over $2 billion to secure favorable loans.

Attorney General Letitia James seeks $250 million in damages and potential sanctions that could restrict the Trump family from conducting business in New York.

Notably, none of the defendants face incarceration if found guilty, as this is a civil case, not a criminal one.

The trial is a bench trial, placing the ultimate decision on liability, damages, and penalties solely in the hands of Judge Engoron, rather than a jury.