Donald Trump has been on trial in New York over accusations of fraud. Trump is accused of over evaluating his assets in order to get loans.
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This trial, which lies entirely in the hands of Judge Engoron, is not going very well for Donald Trump. Indeed, Engoron has already found Trump guilty of fraud. However, he is yet to determine the punishment.
In pure Donald Trump fashion, the former president has been sharing his anger and frustration on Truth Social. However, on Tuesday 3 October Donald Trump took it too far when he shared a picture of a clerk.
This was sanctioned by Judge Engoron but this incident is now carrying over into another trial.
Donald Trump poses a threat
On Tuesday 10 October, it was reported that federal prosecutors:
urged the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s election interference case in Washington to take steps to protect the identity of prospective jurors
This demand is of course directly linked to what happened in Judge Engoron’s court when Trump took and shared a pic of a clerk without her being aware or giving consent.
Moreover, the prosecutors have also said that this request is motivated by Trump’s overall use of social media while on trial. They wrote that his ‘continued use of social media as a weapon of intimidation in court proceedings’ is something that should be considered and monitored.
Prosecutors have expressed worry over what Donald Trump and/or his team could do were they given access to the identity of the jurors. They wrote:
Given that the defendant — after apparently reviewing opposition research on court staff — chose to use social media to publicly attack a court staffer, there is cause for concern about what he may do with social media research on potential jurors in this case
Because of Trump’s behaviour, the judge presiding his rape lawsuit has already chosen to keep the names of jurors secret even from the lawyers. This is an effort to protect jurors and their families from both the 45th president’s social media outbursts and the wrath of his supporters.
Social media is playing a key role in Trump’s numerous trials
This is far from the first time that Trump’s social media presence is brought up in court. We’ve already mentioned the fact that Trump shared a picture of a clerk on Truth Social but this isn’t all.
Throughout his legal battles, Trump had continuously used social media to openly criticise judges and prosecutors. He has also used his platform to question trials altogether calling them ‘unfair’ and a ‘witch hunt’.
However, while Trump makes his comments, it appears that judges and prosecutors are watching. Judge Engoron issued a limited gag order after the incident that took place in his court. He said:
Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, not appropriate, and I will not tolerate them
He also warned Trump that there would be ‘serious sanctions’ were he to do that again.
watching carefully for anything that might affect that jury pool or poison that jury pool
On the day, prosecutors warned Trump and his team that this trial was not starting from zero.
We are not starting fresh from indictment in this case
BBC News: Donald Trump: Judge issues gag order on former president in NY fraud case
AP: Citing Trump’s online attacks, US prosecutors seek protections for potential jurors in election case
AP: New York judge issues limited gag order after Trump sends disparaging post about court clerk