(TheIndependentStar.com) – In a despicable new bout of judicial repression against the leading 2024 GOP nomination candidate, Donald Trump, the liberal New York judge in his $250 million civil fraud case has slapped the former president with a second fine for violating his gag order.
During Trump’s court appearance on Wednesday, Judge Arthur Engoron unexpectedly called him to the witness stand over comments the former president had made earlier that day, declared he didn’t believe his explanation, and gave him a $10,000 fine, The Associated Press reports, as cited by The Daily Caller.
Engoron presides over the civil fraud case brought against the former president, his adult sons, and the Trump Organization by New York’s Democrat Attorney General.
“[Engoron is] a very partisan judge with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside of him, perhaps even much more partisan than he is,” Trump told reporters before the court session.
The judge subsequently interpreted his words as a reference to Allison Greenfield, his clerk.
Engoron imposed a gag order on the former president earlier this month, banning him from speaking publicly about the court, after a Trump post on Truth Social labeled Greenfield as the “girlfriend” of Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
When he took the witness stand and was sworn under oath on Wednesday, Trump clarified that his comment was not aimed at the law clerk, but at Michael Cohen, his former lawyer who testified against him that day, The Hill reports.
However, Engoron deemed “the witness is not credible” and, overriding the objections of Trump’s lawyer Chris Kise, levied a $10,000 fine, twice higher than the first gag order fine of $5,000.
Previously, Engoron had considered incarceration as a possible penalty after discovering that a post about Greenfield remained on Trump’s campaign website for 17 days post-gag order, only being removed following a court email.
The judge ultimately settled on a $5,000 fine for this earlier breach, which he acknowledged might have been “inadvertent.”
Engoron highlighted the potential dangers of “incendiary untruths” in the “current overheated climate,” noting in his Oct. 20 filing that such falsehoods can lead to “serious physical harm, and worse.”
He emphasized that Trump had been sufficiently forewarned about the consequences of violating the gag order.
In September, Engoron concluded that Trump had misled banks and insurance companies by inflating his net worth and the valuation of his assets.