A New York judge wavered briefly before reiterating his decision to fine ex-president Donald Trump $10,000 for comments he took to be an insult directed at his court clerk.
On Wednesday, former president Trump complained about a “very political” individual next to the bench, and bench Arthur Engoron said it was “obvious” Mr. Trump was talking about his clerk.
The lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James against Mr. Trump and his company alleges that they falsified financial figures to secure better terms on insurance and loans, and the judge has ordered him to refrain from attacking court officials during the trial.
On Thursday, Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise, urged the judge to rethink the penalty. He claimed Mr. Trump was talking to his former attorney turned accuser Michael Cohen, who testified earlier in the week, and not the court clerk.
Mr. Trump’s allegation that he was talking about Mr. Cohen was “not credible,” the judge had determined, adding that he sat closer to the clerk than the witness.
Judge Engoron took a second look at the totality of Mr. Trump’s remarks on Thursday but refused to adjust the sentence following his review.
The fee is a drop in the bucket for Mr. Trump, a wealthy real estate billionaire, though the case emphasized the difficulty of holding legal actions against the outspoken Republican who is dominating the 2024 primary polls for president.
The back-and-forth over gag orders and whether it is possible to keep a former president quiet or if First Amendment rights should triumph has resulted from Mr. Trump’s many outbursts against special counsel Jack Smith and other persons prosecuting him in a series of criminal prosecutions.
Mr. Trump has been publicly attacking Ms. James and her legal team throughout the civil lawsuit, both in the hallways of the New York courthouse and on his Truth Social account.
Mr. Trump was living in a “dream world,” according to Judge Engoron’s preliminary finding, and Ms. James won an early success on one of her claims when he found him liable for understating the value of some of his properties.
At trial, the parties also discuss other allegations against Trump and possible damages.
This is a case of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct, and someone from New York needs to intervene to prevent a complete and total miscarriage of justice. Mr. Trump posted an article on Truth Social.
Mrs. Hochul was unmoved by Mr. Trump’s pleading, and on Thursday, she posted a link to a story about it along with the word “Sad!” on the X platform.