Donald Trump was fined $5,000 on Friday for an insulting post against a New York court clerk, as he stands on civil trial for financial fraud in the management of his real estate empire.
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During this trial, Judge Arthur Engoron, as of the second day of the trial on October 3, banned all parties from attacking his team, after a post deemed “insulting” by the employee was published on the Republican billionaire’s account on his social website, Truth. network.
The post was removed but “despite this obvious fact, I learned last night that the offensive message was never removed from DonaldJTrump.com and had remained on that site for the past 17 days,” before it was “belatedly withdrawn.” Yesterday evening (Thursday), but only in response to an email from this court,” according to statements reported by American media and confirmed by a court spokesman to Agence France-Presse.
In a decision issued Friday afternoon, the judge confirmed that he had a breakout session with Donald Trump on October 3, and that the latter assured him that he would not do so again.
The judge considers that Donald Trump “was adequately warned of the consequences of violating” the ban, but since this was the first time, and the former president’s lawyers confirmed that the publication remained “inadvertently” on the site, he imposed “a symbolic fine of $5,000.”
“Future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the perpetrator to much harsher penalties,” the judge warns, pointing to “severer” fines or even being indicted for contempt of court and “possibly being placed in custody.”
“In today’s already febrile climate, inflammatory lies can, and in some cases have, resulted in serious bodily harm or worse,” the judge added in his ruling.
Because of his often harsh statements, Donald Trump has also been barred from making public comments targeting prosecutors, court staff and witnesses in the upcoming federal criminal trial in Washington over his alleged illegal attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The former president appealed this decision, which aims to contain the risks of threats, intimidation and harassment of targeted persons, and requested its suspension. The judge granted that request for comment on Friday, allowing time to write down the arguments of both sides, by October 28.
Since the start of his civil trial, Donald Trump has continued to attack New York State Attorney General, the origin of the prosecution, Letitia James, an elected African-American Democrat, whom he describes as “corrupt.” “Racist” and “horrible.”
Republican Letitia James and two of his sons, Eric and Donald Jr., are accused of overvaluing New York’s golf courses, housing and skyscrapers by several billion dollars in the 2000s to obtain more favorable loans from banks, a claim Donald Trump refutes. In particular, it demands a fine of $250 million.
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