Appeals Court Reinstates Gag Order Against Trump In Civil Fraud Trial

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The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by a lower court, ordering the judge in Trump’s civil fraud case to modify the gag order he had imposed on Trump. The gag order prohibits Trump from making public comments about any of the people involved in the trial, including lawyers and witnesses.

Trump had previously appealed the ruling, arguing that his free speech rights were being violated by the gag order. However, in its unanimous opinion, the appeals court disagreed with Trump’s argument and ruled that his comments could disrupt or influence potential jurors.

The court also noted that because Trump is an active politician who is seeking re-election this year, allowing him to comment on personnel connected to his civil fraud trial could create an unfair advantage for him politically.

In light of this ruling, Donald Trump must now adhere strictly to the new restrictions set out by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and refrain from commenting publicly about any person connected to his civil fraud trial.

Judge Arthur Engoron has already fined Trump $15,000 for violating the gag order, which was paused while the appeals court considered Trump’s complaint.

It is possible that Judge Engoron could impose additional fines depending on how Trump continues to violate the gag order. The court may also take other punitive measures, such as ordering Trump to pay attorneys’ fees and costs associated with defending against his complaint.

The judge has already ruled that Trump committed fraud, but Trump has argued his financial statements came with “buyer beware” disclosures and that no banks were actually victimized.

Trump’s defense called representatives of Deutsche Bank to the stand this week, who testified that Trump was a “whale” of a client who brought loads of business.

Trump has repeatedly blasted the judge, his clerk, and the prosecutor, Democrat Letitia James, as political hacks who are out to get him.

“This is a complete and utter disgrace,” Trump’s lawyer Christopher Kise said. “The restriction of free speech, especially during an election cycle, should never be tolerated in a democracy.”

He noted that the gag order was preventing the president from defending himself against the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry. “The Democrats have weaponized their partisan investigation to silence President Trump and interfere with his ability to mount a defense.”

Trump has called for an end to the impeachment inquiry altogether, as he believes it is politically motivated and unwarranted. He has also indicated that he may take legal action against those involved in what he sees as a witch hunt.

Trump has also criticized Engoron’s wife over anti-Trump social media posts attributed to her.

“This is the Judge’s Wife and Family that are putting these things out,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I am not entitled to a Jury under this Statute. Can this be happening in America? This is the most unfair Trial in the History of New York, and I’ve had some pretty unfair Trials!”

Trump is expected to testify in his defense on December 11, before the trial’s closing. He previously gave combative testimony during the state’s case.

Trump is also battling a gag order from prosecutor Jack Smith in Washington D.C.

That order is on hold while the appeals court in D.C. considers Trump’s challenge.

A panel of three judges appeared likely to uphold the gag order during a hearing last month, but they also admonished Smith, saying he needs to show “thick enough skin” to withstand criticism.




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