Judge Threatens Trump with Jail for Breaching NY Fraud Trial Gag Order
The presiding judge over Donald Trump’s $250 million civil fraud trial raised the possibility of imprisoning the former president for failing to comply with a partial gag order. Judge Arthur Engoron stated Trump did not remove a disparaging social media post about his law clerk, despite being ordered to do so, which he deemed a blatant violation of the gag order. The case against Trump, initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that Trump and his two adult sons inflated Trump’s personal net worth to secure favorable loan agreements, with over 200 instances of fraud identified over a decade.
Judge Considers Prison for Trump in $250M Civil Fraud Trial
The presiding judge over Donald Trump’s $250 million civil fraud trial in New York, Judge Arthur Engoron, hinted at the possibility of imprisoning the former president due to his failure to heed a partial gag order. Despite being ordered to eliminate a disparaging social media post about the judge’s law clerk, Trump did not comply.
Engoron disclosed that the post had remained on Trump’s 2024 campaign website for 17 days despite his order and was only removed following court communication. “This blatant violation of the gag order may lead to severe sanctions,” warned Engoron.
Chris Kise, Trump’s defense attorney, responded by stating, “Based on my understanding, this was truly inadvertent. While the post was removed from Truth Social upon the court’s request, it seems it was not taken down from the campaign website. I apologize on behalf of my client.”
The New York civil fraud trial, which began in early October, resulted from a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James in September 2022. James accuses Trump and his two adult sons of fraudulent practices to inflate Trump’s personal net worth and secure favorable loan agreements.
Engoron, in a ruling allowing the trial to proceed, said Trump committed fraud by manipulating the values of his assets. He found that Trump exaggerated his wealth by billions to his benefit.
The attorney general aims to secure approximately $250 million in penalties and seeks to prevent the Trump family from operating New York companies and limit Trump’s real estate ventures in the state for five years.
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