The New York judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud case fined him $5,000 for violating the court’s gag order, according to a filing.
Judge Arthur Engoron threatened jail time during a hearing Friday morning after he discovered Trump had left up a post about his law clerk, Allison Greenfield, on his campaign website for 17 days after a gag order was issued. The post, which referenced Greenfield as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s “girlfriend” and included a photo of the two individuals, prompted Egoron to issue the gag order blocking the former president from posting about court staff on Oct. 3.
“In the current overheated climate, incendiary untruths can, and in some cases already have, led to serious physical harm, and worse,” Engoron wrote in the filing. “Donald Trump has received ample warning from this Court as to the possible repercussions of violating the gag order.”
Ergon noted that the violation was “inadvertent,” but also said that the court was “way beyond” the warning stage, given that Trump had “specifically acknowledged” he would abide by the order.
“Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to far more severe sanctions, which may include, but are not limited to, steeper financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court, and possibly imprisoning him pursuant to New York Judiciary Law § 753,” the judge continued.
Trump’s initial Truth Social post was deleted shortly after the order was issued, but it remained public on his donaldjtrump.com website. It was removed Thursday night after an email from the court, according to NBC News.
“The Truth Social post was taken down when the court asked,” Chris Kise, lead counsel for Trump, told the judge Friday, according to NBC News. “Truth Social was taken down and Trump never made any more comments about court staff, but it appears no one took it down on the campaign website. It is unfortunate and I apologize on behalf of my client.”
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