Former President Donald Trump has been fined $10,000 for violating a partial gag order in the civil trial brought against him by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The fine was imposed by Judge Arthur Engoron, who had previously fined Trump $5,000 for violating the order on social media.
During the trial, Engoron asked Trump about statements he made to the press regarding a “person who’s very partisan sitting alongside” the judge, to which Trump referred to Engoron and his former lawyer Michael Cohen.
When Engoron asked who Trump was referring to, the former president replied: “You and Cohen.”
The judge asked if he was sure he was not referring to his clerk.
“Yes, I’m sure,” Trump said.
“I think she’s very unfair,” Trump said of the court clerk, adding that she is “biased against us.”
Engoron said his principal clerk “is very close to me,” and ruled, instead, that Trump was referring to his law clerk.
Engoron fined Trump $10,000, which he said is, “on the liberal side.”
Trump attorney Alina Habba called it “inappropriate.”
Habba said the clerk rolled her eyes, to which Habba said: “The influence from your bench is inappropriate.”
Engoron responded, “I make the final decisions. I value input from both of my law clerks.”
In regard to the clerks sitting next to him, he said, “That’s how I do things.”
However, Engoron ruled that Trump was referring to his law clerk and not him.
Trump’s attorneys argued against the fine, but Engoron upheld it.
The trial stems from allegations of fraud and misrepresentation made by the attorney general against Trump and the Trump Organization.
“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 pursuant to New York Judiciary Law,” Engoron said in a filing.