The New York choose presiding over Donald J. Trump’s civil fraud trial ordered the previous president Tuesday to not assault and even touch upon court docket workers after Mr. Trump posted a message to social media concentrating on the choose’s legislation clerk.
Mr. Trump went after the clerk, Allison Greenfield, shortly earlier than midday on his Reality Social web site. His submit was an image of Ms. Greenfield with Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic majority chief. Mr. Trump mocked Ms. Greenfield as “Schumer’s girlfriend” and mentioned that the case towards him must be dismissed.
Mr. Trump posted his message within the midst of a trial through which he’s accused by the New York lawyer common, Letitia James, of inflating the worth of his belongings in his annual monetary statements to achieve favorable remedy from banks and insurance coverage corporations.
The submit was taken down throughout a lunch break, shortly after a closed-door assembly between the events within the room the place Mr. Trump is being tried.
After the break, the choose, Arthur F. Engoron, defined what had occurred, although he didn’t title Ms. Greenfield or Mr. Trump, referring to the previous president solely as a defendant.
“Private assaults on members of my court docket workers are unacceptable, inappropriate and I cannot tolerate them below any circumstances,” the choose mentioned.
Justice Engoron mentioned that his assertion must be thought-about a “gag order” forbidding any posts, emails or public remarks about members of his workers. He added that critical sanctions would comply with have been he to be disobeyed. He didn’t elaborate, however consultants mentioned that if the previous president violates the order, the choose might superb Mr. Trump as a lot as $1,000 — and even maintain him in jail for as much as 30 days, although the possibilities of that occuring are slim.
The previous president’s social media posts have grow to be a problem in a number of circumstances towards him. Federal prosecutors who’ve accused Mr. Trump of searching for to overturn the 2020 election have requested a choose for a gag order, citing his threatening statements. In a legal case towards Mr. Trump in Manhattan that stems from a 2016 hush cash fee to a porn star, the choose has restricted Mr. Trump’s potential to submit about some proof.
Mr. Trump has spent a lot of the primary two days of his civil fraud trial attacking Justice Engoron and Ms. James, each Democrats. Final yr, Ms. James filed the lawsuit that led to the trial, accusing Mr. Trump of “staggering fraud” by inflating the values of his belongings.
In a pretrial ruling, Justice Engoron discovered that the previous president was responsible for fraud and dissolved the businesses he makes use of to run his New York properties. What stays to be decided at trial is whether or not the previous president and his fellow defendants are responsible for different unlawful acts and whether or not there might be additional punishment. Ms. James has requested Justice Engoron to superb the defendants $250 million.
Mr. Trump has referred to as the choose “deranged” and mentioned that he’s biased. His assault on Ms. Greenfield, which additionally included a hyperlink to what seemed to be Ms. Greenfield’s Instagram account, pushed the concept of Democratic collusion towards him, saying that the case must be dismissed instantly.
In an announcement, a spokeswoman for Senator Schumer referred to as the submit “ridiculous, absurd, and false.”
“Senator Schumer doesn’t know Ms. Greenfield,” the assertion mentioned. “As is well-known, Senator Schumer attends numerous occasions in each nook of the state the place tens of 1000’s of constituents take pictures with him, identical to this one, which was taken at a cease at an annual brunch in Manhattan.”
Justice Engoron is understood for preserving a lighthearted ambiance in his courtroom, cracking jokes and making outdated popular culture references. On Tuesday, after information photographers snapped image after image of Mr. Trump, Justice Engoron remarked, “Oh, the wages of fame.”
He additionally provides uncommon latitude to Ms. Greenfield, permitting her the occasional direct query to attorneys. The 2 have a rapport: Justice Engoron makes jokes and quips and Ms. Greenfield retains the trains operating on time
However the choose spoke gravely Tuesday as he defined the phrases of his order. He famous that whereas Mr. Trump had taken down the Reality Social submit about Ms. Greenfield, the previous president’s marketing campaign had despatched out a replica in an electronic mail to thousands and thousands of individuals.
The trial resumed quickly after the choose’s stern warning with the cross-examination of a retired accountant who used to work with Mr. Trump. And Justice Engoron recovered his regular bearing shortly. Quickly, he was correcting one in every of Mr. Trump’s attorneys on the correct pronunciation of triplex, main many within the courtroom — Ms. James included — to chortle.
As for Mr. Trump, he sat quietly throughout the afternoon, often making feedback to his attorneys as he watched one aggressively query the accountant, Donald Bender.
After court docket concluded, he didn’t reply to questions concerning the choose’s order however mentioned he would return to the trial Wednesday.
Ben Protess contributed reporting.