New York Appellate Court Reinstates Trump Gag Orders

November 30, 2023 by Dan McCue
New York Appellate Court Reinstates Trump Gag Orders
This exhibit from video released by the House Select Committee, shows President Donald Trump recording a video statement on the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, from the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington. (House Select Committee via AP)

NEW YORK — A New York appeals court panel on Thursday reinstated a pair of gag orders issued in Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial that barred the former president from speaking publicly about the judge’s court staff.

The two-page decision by the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division reinstates gag orders issued by trial Judge Arthur Engoron.

Engoron issued the first gag order after Trump posted a derogatory comment about Allison Greenfield, who has served as the judge’s principal law clerk since 2019, on social media.

The post, which included a baseless allegation about the clerk’s personal life, came on the second day of the trial on charges brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

James alleges Trump for years exaggerated his wealth on financial statements used to secure loans and make a wide range of business deals. 

Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

The judge issued a second gag order on Nov. 3, barring Trump’s attorneys from mentioning the judge’s “confidential communications” with his clerk.

At the time Engoron explained the gag order was being expanded because the attorneys questioned Greenfield’s prominent role on the bench, where she sits alongside the judge, exchanging notes and advising him during testimony.

As previously reported by The Well News, on Nov. 16, David Friedman, an associate justice in New York state’s First Judicial Department, temporarily lifted the gag orders, expressing skepticism about whether the harm done by Trump’s spewing invective outweighed the harm of infringing on the former president’s free speech rights.

Trump’s lawyers had challenged Engoron’s gag order as an abuse of power. They sued the judge under a state law known as Article 78, which allows lawsuits over some judicial decisions.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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