Appeals judge lifts bizarre gag order on President Trump

Judge Arthur Engoron (video screenshot)

Arthur Engoron (video screenshot)

An appeals judge in New York has lifted, at least temporarily, a trial court judge’s gag order against President Donald Trump.

Judge Arthur Engoron had issued the order, and already has fined Trump $15,000 using it, because he doesn’t like Trump’s ability to comment about the case, and the politics involved.

The ruling was in a civil fraud case brought by New York AG Letitia James, who campaigned for office on a “get” Trump theme. She then claimed Trump inflated the values of his properties, even though there were no unpaid loans, no irate partners, in fact, no complaints.

She is demanding a $250 million penalty from Trump, as well as the “death penalty” for his businesses.

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Associate Justice David Friedman now has paused that order blocking Trump from speaking publicly about members of Engoron’s staff, reports said.

Earlier, Trump made a post on Truth Social calling his law clerk Allison Greenfield the “girlfriend” of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer when they appeared in a photograph together.

Friedman cited free speech rights after Trump had filed an emergency application against the censorship demand by Engoron, who is on record explaining how he can manipulate a case in front of him.

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Trump’s lawyers explained Engoron used the order as an “unfettered license to inflict public punishments on a defendant for the defendant’s out-of-court statements.”

Courthouse News reported Trump lawyer Alina Habba was happy.

“I am pleased to see the appellate court restore some much needed respect for constitutional rights in this political circus being orchestrated and enabled by the state attorney general’s office,” she said.

Trump’s lawyers also charged that the censorship scheme by Engoron cast “serous doubt” on his ability to be impartial.

“On its face, the gag order prevents any speech, no matter how innocuous or relevant, about any member of Justice Engoron’s staff,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. “As applied to President Trump, it also prevents a presidential candidate from commenting on the public conduct and possible ethical violations of a critical member of Justice Engoron’s chambers, who sits right beside him on the bench throughout the trial.”

Engoron’s clerk’s “possible ethical violations” have arisen a number of times already in the case.

Trump’s lawyers say they have a right to raise such questions, even though Engoron doesn’t like it.

“Only a clear and present danger of a serious, substantive evil can justify such an infringement on the freedom of speech the First Amendment and the New York Constitution protects,” they wrote.

Engoron claimed he and his staff have gotten “harassing and threatening” calls, message and emails.

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