1 of 3 | The New York Supreme Court's appellate division on Thursday reinstated Judge Arthur Engoron's gag orders on Donald Trump in his $250 million civil fraud trial. File Photo by Eduardo Munoz/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A New York state appeals court Thursday reinstated a gag order against Donald Trump and his lawyers from Judge Arthur Engoron in the $250 million civil business fraud trial against Trump, his sons and his businesses.
The orders were imposed after Trump's social media comments resulted in threats to Engoron and his law clerk.
The two-page ruling from the appellate division of the New York Stated Supreme Court denied Trump's motion to stay enforcement of Engoron's gag order. The appeals panel rejected the argument that the gag order is unconstitutional.
"Now, upon reading and filing the papers with respect to the motion, and due deliberation having been had thereon, it is ordered that the motion is denied; the interim relief granted by order of a Justice of this Court, dated November 16, 2023, is hereby vacated," the ruling said.
Engoron told both sides in the trial, "I intend to enforce the gag orders rigorously and vigorously and I want to make sure counsel informs their clients of the fact that the stay was vacated."
Trump lawyer Chris Kise told Engoron that the Trump legal team is aware of the ruling.
"It's a tragic day for the rule of law, but we are aware," he said.
The gag orders are limited, prohibiting Trump and his lawyers from commenting about court staff. They don't stop him from public criticisms of Engoron or New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The appeals court temporarily lifted the gag orders and sanctions barring Trump from attacking Engoron's law clerk Allison Greenfield on Nov. 17.
The gag orders came after Judge Engoron and his staff were bombarded with death threats following Trump's online accusations against them.
In a Nov. 22 filing with the appellate court, Deputy Counsel in the Office of Court Administration of the State of New York Lisa Evans wrote, "The messages received by Justice Engoron and his staff every day has created an ongoing security risk for the judge, his staff and his family. The implementation of the limited gag orders resulted in a decrease in the number of threats, harassment, and disparaging messages that the judge and his staff received. However, when Mr. Trump violated the gag orders, the number of threatening, harassing and disparaging messages increased."
She wrote that on a daily basis Engoron and his staff are inundated with hundreds of harassing and threatening messages, causing constant reassessments of what security precautions to put in place.
Evans said the ugly threats directed at the law clerk have been transcribed into over 275 single-spaced pages.
James sued Trump, his adult children and their businesses in New York for at least $250 million, alleging systematic, years-long business fraud that falsely inflated Trump property values and his wealth.
Engoron ruled in September that Trump fraudulently inflated the values of his real estate properties, granting a partial summary judgement in the case to James.