On Wednesday, the judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York penalized him $10,000 for breaking an order not to insult court officials.
Judge Arthur Engoron levied the fine, Trump’s second, after concluding that comments he made to reporters during a trial break broke a three-week-old partial gag order.
On October 3, Engoron imposed a limited gag order on Trump after he attacked the judge’s chief law clerk in a post on his Truth Social website.
The offending post was removed from Truth Social, but Trump was fined $5,000 last week for failing to remove it from his presidential campaign website in time.
The new fine came after Trump claimed Engoron is a “very partisan judge with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside him, perhaps even much more partisan than he is.”
According to Trump’s attorneys, the former president was referring to witness Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer turned bitter rival, rather than the judge’s clerk who sits next to him in court.
The court summoned Trump to the witness stand for a brief moment to clarify himself, and the former president repeated that he was speaking to Cohen.
After Trump spoke, the judge said “the defendant was not credible” and imposed the fine.
Trump abruptly left the courtroom shortly afterward.
Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner in 2024, and his two eldest sons are accused of misrepresenting the value of the Trump Organization’s real estate holdings in order to obtain more favorable bank loans and insurance terms.
The former president has regularly criticized Engoron, labeling him a “Trump-hating judge,” but the gag order issued on October 3 simply prohibited comments on court personnel.
The federal judge who will preside over Trump’s March trial for conspiracy to rig the 2020 presidential election also put a partial gag order on the former president, but lifted it temporarily to allow Trump’s legal team time to file objections.