Appeals Court Reinstates Trump Gag Order In Fraud Trial

A New York appeals court reinstated Thursday the gag order imposed on former President Donald Trump by the judge overseeing his civil fraud trial.

Trump asked the appeals court earlier this month to vacate Judge Arthur Engoron’s order, which blocks him from speaking publicly about members of Engoron’s staff, along with the $5,000 and $10,000 fines imposed on him for violations. Associate Justice David Friedman temporarily paused the order on Nov. 16.

“Now, upon reading and filing the papers with respect to the motion, and due deliberation having been had thereon…It is ordered that the motion is denied; the interim relief granted by order of a Justice of this Court, dated November 16, 2023, is hereby vacated,” the appeals court’s order states.

Engoron first imposed the order in October after Trump made a Truth Social post about his law clerk Allison Greenfield, calling her the “girlfriend” of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. He expanded it early November to include his attorneys after finding they had made “on the record, repeated, inappropriate remarks” about Greenfield.

Trump’s attorneys argued Engoron had used the order as an “unfettered license to inflict public punishments on a defendant for the defendant’s out-of-court statements,” ABC News reported.

The former president was fined twice for violating the order: first for failing to remove the Truth Social post that sparked it from his campaign website for 17 days and second for remarks he made to reporters outside the courtroom referencing the person beside Engoron as “very partisan.”

Trump’s separate motion for a mistrial due to “tangible and overwhelming” evidence of bias was also rejected this month by Engoron, who called it “utterly without merit.”

In September, Engoron ruled that Trump had inflated his net worth and overvalued his assets, defrauding banks and insurance companies.

Documents and testimony introduced this week during his civil fraud trial highlighted the bank’s interest in landing Trump as a client over a decade ago and lack of concern about adjustments the bank made to his estimated net worth.

Then-managing director of Deutsche Bank, Rosemary Vrablic, wrote in a November 2011 email to colleagues after a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. that they were “whale hunting,” a reference to a very wealthy client, according to The Associated Press.

David Williams, who was involved with the Trump Organization loans and worked in Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management division for 17 years, testified Tuesday that the bank’s cutting of Trump’s estimated net worth from $4.2 billion net worth to $2.4 billion wasn’t an issue.

“It’s not unusual or atypical for any client’s provide[d] financial statements to be adjusted to this level to this extent,” he said during the trial Tuesday, according to CNN.

Post written by Katelynn Richardson. Republished with permission from DCNF

By Melinda Davies
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