(VitalNews.org) – The appeal filed by former President Donald Trump and his legal team requesting to lift a gag order imposed on him by Judge Arthur Engoron was denied by an appellate court this week, reinstating the gag order as Trump remains on trial for civil fraud in New York.
Trump’s appeal was denied by the panel last week after he and his legal team claimed that the principal law clerk assisting Engoron on the case is acting “as a ‘co-judge’” and criticized her for whispering with the judge and passing notes. Trump also testified previously that he believes the clerk is “very biased” toward him.
The former president and his counsel were accused of violating the gag order multiple times by publicly criticizing the clerk and others involved in the prosecution, and have amassed a total of $15,000 in fines before his team appealed the order. One of the violations was remarks allegedly made by Trump on the social media platform he founded called Truth Social, in which he described the clerk as “very disturbed and angry” and accused her of tainting the legal process. He also criticized the judge’s wife multiple times.
Engoron ordered Trump previously to refrain from criticizing the court staff and its officers, warning the former president that such attacks are unacceptable, inappropriate, and wouldn’t be tolerated. The judge even ordered Trump to take the witness stand during the trial and asked him to explain his public comments about the court, specifically the clerk. On and off the stand, Trump and his team have continued calling into question the “impartiality” of Judge Engoron and accusing the judge of “hating” the former president.
Trump and his legal team filed a motion in November demanding a mistrial, arguing that the judge and his clerk are tainting the process due to bias against the former president. The motion was denied by Engoron, who said it was “without merit.”
Engoron already ruled that Trump and his sons committed fraud. The current case is also not a trial by jury, meaning the judge is the ultimate authority deciding the matter, leading many supporters of Trump to believe his theories that the trial is merely a show politically motivated to interrupt his 2024 presidential campaign.
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