Judge upholds $10K fine for Trump’s gag order breach

New York Judge Reaffirms $10,000 Fine on Donald Trump


Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, has been fined $10,000 by Judge Arthur Engoron over an out-of-court comment made during his civil business fraud trial. The judge imposed the fine after finding that Trump’s comments to TV cameras outside the courtroom violated a gag order prohibiting trial participants from commenting publicly on the judge’s staff. The gag order was imposed in response to a social media post by Trump that disparaged the judge’s principal law clerk, who sits beside him.

Trump’s Defense

Trump’s lawyers urged Judge Engoron to rethink the penalty, insisting that Trump was referring to a witness, Michael Cohen, and not the clerk in question. However, Judge Engoron considered “the entirety of the remarks” and reconsidered the penalty but ultimately stood by his decision to fine Trump, stating that he cannot find the ex-President’s defense credible.

The Case

The lawsuit against Trump, his company, and top executives was filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James last year. James alleges that Trump and his business committed fraud by repeatedly lying about his wealth on financial statements provided to banks, insurers, and others. Specifically, James contends that Trump and his business chronically exaggerated the value of his assets and net worth on his financial statements. The civil trial concerns allegations of conspiracy, insurance fraud, and falsifying business records, with James seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.

The Verdict

Judge Engoron found that Trump, chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, and other defendants committed years of fraud. As punishment for their actions, he ordered that a court-appointed receiver take control of some of Trump’s companies, putting the future oversight of Trump properties, including Trump Tower, into question. However, an appeals court has blocked enforcement of this aspect of Judge Engoron’s ruling for the time being.

The Future of Trump’s Legal Woes

The case’s future is unclear, but the fact that an ex-president is still embroiled in legal difficulties is unprecedented and further proof that no one, not even those at the highest positions of power, is above the law.

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