OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
12:56 PM – Saturday, November 4, 2023
The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial has broadened a gag order within the trial to include Trump’s legal team, following prolonged discussions regarding the judge’s interactions with his law clerk during court proceedings this week.
Judge Arthur Engoron had initially imposed a gag order on Trump after the former president criticized the judge’s law clerk on social media.
Trump has subsequently incurred two fines for breaching this gag order.
On Friday, Engoron expanded the gag order to Trump’s legal team, barring them from making any additional remarks regarding private discussions between the judge and his staff, whether inside or outside the courtroom.
“Since the commencement of this bench trial, my chambers have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters and packages. The First Amendment right of defendants and their attorneys to comment on my staff is far and away outweighed by the need to protect them from threats and physical harm,” the judge wrote.
The judge emphasized that any breach of the order would lead to “serious sanctions.”
Engoron asserted his right to seek counsel from his clerk, underscoring that Trump’s legal team is not entitled to knowledge of their communications.
“She’s a civil servant, she’s doing what I ask her to do.” Those notes are “confidential communications from my law clerk,” Engoron said on Thursday.
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