Judge Slaps Trump with Fine for Violating ‘Gag Order,’ Threatens Imprisonment of Former President

Former President Donald Trump has been slapped with a fine of $5,000 due to a social media post the judge found was in violation of a gag order imposed on him during his fraud trial.

Judge Arthur Engoron did not hold the former president in contempt at this time; but, he retained the authority to exercise such action in the future. The judge also warned of possibly imprisoning Trump, should he persist in violating the gag order that prohibits parties involved in the case from engaging in personal disparagement of court officials.

The New York judge furthermore imposed a fine of $5,000 on the former president. This penalty was issued due to derogatory social media post on his campaign website, which mentioned a court staff member involved in his New York civil fraud case.

According to Engoron’s written verdict, Trump’s actions were “way beyond the ‘warning’ stage”, but he decided on a  fine because Trump’s lawyers said the website’s retention of the post was accidental and it was a “first time violation.”

The judge warned that any further infractions, regardless of intent, will result in far more severe penalties, including the possibility of incarceration.

This upcoming week, Michael Cohen, the former lawyer of Donald Trump and presently a pivotal witness in the legal proceedings involving Trump, is scheduled to provide testimony.

Trump and Cohen have become bitter adversaries.

On the second day of the trial earlier this month, Engoron imposed a gag order on Trump subsequent to his social media post when he criticized the judge’s legal clerk, Allison Greenfield. Throughout the trial, Greenfield has provided assistance to Engoron, often  sitting by the judge in the courtroom.

“Why is Judge Engoron’s Principal Law Clerk, Allison R Greenfield, palling around with Chuck Schumer?” Trump posted on social media, accompanied by a photograph featuring her with Schumer, and including a hyperlink to the latter’s personal Instagram account.

Engoron issued a directive to Trump, instructing him to expunge the aforementioned article and refrain from raising further questions about court personnel.

The judge earlier imposed sanctions on the legal representatives of Trump in his preliminary verdict, since they reiterated arguments that he had previously invalidated. Consequently, a fine of $7,500 was levied upon each of the lawyers.

Earlier this year, Donald Trump was issued a fine of $110,000 due to his failure to comply with subpoenas prior to the commencement of legal proceedings.

Due to the nature of the legal proceedings being conducted as a civil action, it is unlikely that a conviction resulting from the trial will lead to the imprisonment of Trump.

However, Engoron’s pre-trial finding mandated the revocation of Trump’s business licenses, potentially resulting in significant ramifications for his real estate enterprises. The verdict is currently subject to an ongoing appeal process within the appellate court.

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By Melinda Davies
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7 months ago

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