Donald Trump’s days in court have only just begun. As we’ve reported before, the 45th President is facing many accusations and investigations which will be taking a lot of his time in the coming year.
Discover our latest podcast
Currently Donald Trump is facing Judge Engoron in a civil fraud case. Trump is accused of having overestimated his net worth in order to receive loans from banks. This fraud trial is led by a persevering prosecution who has investigated Trump’s finances for years.
This trial is set to be challenging for Trump who was already found guilty by Judge Engoron of ‘persistently committing fraud’ on Tuesday 26 September. On top of that, this trial will be conducted without a jury and the decision to strip Trump of his business licence in New York will solely lie with Judge Engoron.
Therefore you would think that Donald Trump would be on his best behaviour…
Donald Trump targets a clerk
Since this trial started, Donald Trump has taken to Truth Social to openly criticise both the prosecution and Judge Engoron. Engoron was called ‘deranged’ and a ‘rogue adjudicator’.
While this is pretty usual behaviour from Trump, who also criticised Judge Tanya Chutkan, he seems to have taken it too far on Tuesday 3 October.
Trump took to his own social media to criticise a clerk in Judge Engoron’s court. On Truth Social, Trump posted a picture of principal clerk Allison Greenfield at a campaign event. In the picture, Greenfield was with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
With the picture Trump proceeded to say that Greenfield was Chuck Schumer’s girlfriend and that therefore the case against him should be dismissed.
The fact that Donald Trump posted a picture of his staff did not go down well with Judge Engoron who, after seeing the post, immediately mentioned it in court saying:
Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them under any circumstances
Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions
Judge Engoron warned Trump that this statement should be ‘considered a gag order’ therefore forbidding the former President to write and send any ‘posts, emails or public remarks about members of his staff.’
Social media is Trump’s best frenemy
Judge Engoron is the second judge in a few months to warn Trump to stay off social media.
Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is ruling on Trump’s election interference case, told him in a hearing on 29 August that he would be wise to give up his social media outbursts.
At this hearing, which was scheduled to set a date for the beginning of the election interference trial, both the prosecution and Judge Chutkan warned Trump very clearly.
Prosecutor Molly Gaston said:
We are not starting fresh from indictment in this case
And Chutkan added that she will be:
watching carefully for anything that might affect that jury pool or poison that jury pool
With this new warning from Judge Engoron, will Trump listen and finally understand that his social media presence and behaviour have consequences in the real world?
He would do well to do so as the trials he is facing could have disastrous consequences for him including prison time, losing a business licence and having to sell some of his assets.
The New York Times: Judge Rules Trump Committed Fraud, Stripping Control of Key Properties
BBC News: Donald Trump: Judge issues gag order on former president in NY fraud case
CNN: Takeaways from a busy and significant day in the Donald Trump criminal cases