On Sunday, former President Donald Trump took another shot at Judge Arthur Engoron, calling him “crazy” and demanding he be “thrown off the bench.”
Trump is facing a $250 million civil fraud trial as a result of a lawsuit filed last year by New York Attorney General Letitia James alleging that Trump and top executives at The Trump Organisation conspired to increase his net worth by billions of dollars on financial statements provided to banks and insurers in order to make deals and secure loans. Trump, who is currently running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, has denied any wrongdoing and has termed the trial politically motivated.
Engoron, who is in charge of the case, punished Trump for the second time last week after he breached a partial gag order established to prevent him from insulting court personnel in charge of James’ complaint. Engoron first fined Trump $5,000 on October 20 for breaking the gag order by failing to remove a post from his social media site, Truth Social, more than two weeks after the judge ordered its removal.
Trump has frequently chastised Engoron, most recently calling him a “incompetent” judge and a “political hack” for his decision on Ivanka Trump on Saturday. Engoron ordered that she must appear in person, adding that even though she is not a defendant in the case, she can be subpoenaed in New York because she does business and owns property there.
“I’d like to meet her in person.” “That is how we prefer testimony,” stated the judge.
On Truth Social again on Sunday, Trump said of the court, “The Trump Hating Judge in this case has gone off the rails.” The lawsuit should never have been brought by the Corrupt, Racist Attorney General, and it would have been dismissed by any other Judge. Their star witness admits lying, claiming that ‘TRUMP did not inflate values.’ The Judge believes Mar-a-Lago is worth $18 million while it is actually worth 50 to 100 times that amount. I truly believe he is CRAZY!”
“This Corrupt Judge does not even acknowledge or accept the Appeals Court’s decision,” Trump continued. He continuously gags and fines me for no reason. He should be kicked off the “Bench” as a huge embarrassment to the state of New York!”
Meanwhile, according to legal scholar Anthony Michael Kreis, who spoke to Newsweek on Sunday, “criminal defendants have every right to criticise judges as long as they are not engaging in activity that constitutes a threat to do them [h]arm.” This is political posturing, regardless of how foolish it is to publicly mock a judge with whom you have a dispute, and it should not be punished.”
According to Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, “Judge Engoron imposed a partial gag order on Trump, but it only applies to court staff — not the judge himself.”
“As a result, Trump will not be sanctioned for these inflammatory words,” Aronberg added. This may encourage the judge to widen his gag order to encompass others, including himself.”