NY Judge Lifts Trump Gag Order In Civil Fraud Trial Over Free Speech Issues

Trump was fined $5,000 for violating the order on social media on October 20, and an additional $10,000 on October 25. Engoron even threatened imprisonment if further violations were committed.

NY Judge Lifts Trump Gag Order In Civil Fraud Trial Over Free Speech Issues - SurgeZirc
NY Judge Lifts Trump Gag Order In Civil Fraud Trial Over Free Speech Issues.

A New York judge has recently lifted the gag order imposed on former President Donald Trump in his civil fraud trial. The gag order was put in place by Judge Arthur Engoran in October, as part of the trial stemming from state Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against Trump and the Trump Organization.

However, citing concerns over free speech, appeals court Judge David Friedman issued a stay on the order. Judge Engoron had imposed the partial gag order to prevent all parties from making derogatory statements about his court staff.

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Trump was fined $5,000 for violating the order on social media on October 20, and an additional $10,000 on October 25. Engoron even threatened imprisonment if further violations were committed.

During the emergency hearing, Judge Friedman questioned Engoron’s authority to limit Trump’s speech outside the courtroom. He argued that gag orders are typically used more in criminal trials, where there is a fear of swaying a jury.

The ruling also applies to Trump’s lawyers, who have stated that they have no plans to inhibit the former president’s First Amendment rights. Trump expressed his satisfaction with the ruling in a post on Truth Social, a platform he recently launched.

NY Judge Lifts Trump Gag Order In Civil Fraud Trial Over Free Speech Issues - SurgeZirc
Trump leaves the courtroom for a lunch break during his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on November 06, 2023, in New York City.

In his post, he criticized Engoron and celebrated the overturning of the gag order. Trump wrote, “Judge Arthur Engoron has just been overturned (stayed!) by the New York State Appellate Division (Appeals Court), for the 4th TIME (on the same case!).

His Ridiculous and Unconstitutional Gag Order, not allowing me to defend myself against him and his politically biased and out of control, Trump Hating Clerk, who is sinking him and his Court to new levels of LOW, is a disgrace.”

Trump also accused Attorney General Letitia James of conducting an illegal witch hunt against him and defended himself by stating that he had done nothing wrong.

He further criticized James, calling her the “Worst and Least Respected Attorney General in the United States” and claiming that her actions would deter businesses and jobs from coming to New York State.

NY Judge Lifts Trump Gag Order In Civil Fraud Trial Over Free Speech Issues - SurgeZirc
Justice Arthur Engoron presides over the civil fraud trial of the Trump Organization at the New York State Supreme Court in New York City on November 13, 2023.

It is important to note that this ruling does not imply any judgment on the merits of the civil fraud trial itself. The lifting of the gag order simply means that Trump and his lawyers are no longer restricted from making public statements about the case and its participants.

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The trial will continue to unfold in the coming months, and the outcome will be determined based on the evidence and arguments presented in court. As the case progresses, it will be interesting to see how the lifting of the gag order impacts the public discourse surrounding the trial.

With Trump now free to express his views on the case, it is likely that there will be a heightened level of media attention and public scrutiny. The trial will serve as a test of the legal system’s ability to balance the right to free speech with the need for a fair and impartial trial.

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