Trump dodges jail in New York gag order violation, but gets hit with a $5,000 fine for ‘inadvertent’ posting – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Trump dodges jail in New York gag order violation, but gets hit with a $5,000 fine for ‘inadvertent’ posting

Donald Trump at his civil fraud trial in New York, and the trial judge, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images, left. Jeenah Moon-Pool/Getty Images, right.

The judge in Donald Trump’s New York civil fraud trial had threatened ‘possible imprisonment’ over Trump’s violation of a gag order.
The judge ultimately decided to only set a $5,000 fine and did not find him in contempt.
The offending Trump post attacked the judge’s law clerk and had remained on his campaign website after Trump removed it from social media.

Donald Trump won’t go to jail for violating a New York gag order, the judge in his civil fraud trial ruled Friday. Even though New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron dangled the threat of “imprisonment” earlier in the day after learning that Trump had violated his order not to disparage court staff, he ultimately decided to fine the former president $5,000 instead.

“Given defendant’s position that the violation was inadvertent, and given that it is a first time violation, this Court will impose a nominal fine, $5,000, payable to the New York Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, within ten (10) days of this order,” Engoron wrote in a sternly-worded ruling issued on Friday afternoon.

“Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to far more severe sanctions, which may include, but are not limited to, steeper financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court, and possibly imprisoning him.”

The fine is Trump’s penalty for violating an October 3 gag order banning him from attacks on the judge’s legal staff online or in spoken statements. 

The gag was prompted by a statement Trump had posted to his Truth Social account earlier that day. The post falsely claimed that Engoron’s principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, was the girlfriend of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat frequently targeted by Trump and the right.

The post, which identified the law clerk by name, photo, and social media link, called the fictitious relationship “disgraceful!”

Back when the gag was issued, Engoron ordered Trump to immediately remove the post from his Truth Social account and threatened serious sanctions if he persisted in such attacks.

But the “Schumer’s girlfriend” post was nonetheless automatically loaded onto the former president’s campaign website, where it remained for more than two weeks, until Thursday night, when the court informed Trump’s lawyers that it was still accessible online and it was removed. 

Engoron, who has typically been an affable presence on the bench during the trial’s three weeks, reacted with notable anger when threatening Trump’s side with sanctions Friday morning.

Trump, who has attended the trial sporadically, was not in the courtroom.

But the judge asked Trump’s attorneys “why this blatant violation of the gag order should not result in serious financial penalties holding the defendant in contempt and possible imprisonment.”

Trump attorney Christopher Kise called the Truth Social post’s automatic appearance on the campaign site, and the campaign staff’s failure to remove it, “truly inadvertent.”

Kise later supplied the judge with audience metrics showing that the post had only received 3,701 unique page views in the two weeks it was on the site.


Read the original article on Business Insider
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