Appeals Judge Lifts Gag Order in Trump Civil Fraud Trial

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Max Power

Max Power is the Editor-in-Chief of Undoing Time.  You can reach him at or by calling 866-664-3052


Appellate Division, First Department

Manhattan, NY – An appellate judge in Manhattan temporarily lifted the gag order preventing Donald Trump from discussing court personnel following his criticism of a law clerk during his New York civil fraud trial. The stay, issued by Judge David Friedman of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department court, raises concerns about free speech and allows the former president to freely comment on court staff while a more extended appeals process unfolds.  You can read the decision HERE:

Case # 2023-05859 – Donald J. Trump v. Hon. Arthur F. Engoran – Order Granting Stay 11-16-2023

The initial gag order was imposed on October 3, 2023 by trial judge Arthur Engoron after Trump commented about the judge’s law clerk on social media. Engoron later fined Trump $15,000 for violations and extended the order to his lawyers when they questioned the clerk’s prominent role in the trial.

During an emergency hearing on Thursday, November 16, 2023, Judge Friedman questioned Engoron’s authority to regulate Trump’s speech outside the courtroom, including his frequent social media complaints and comments to TV cameras in the courthouse hallway. Friedman noted that gag orders are typically used in criminal cases to prevent comments from influencing the jury, but Trump’s civil trial does not have a jury.

Trump’s lawyer, Christopher Kise, praised the appellate judge’s decision, stating that it allows President Trump to exercise his constitutional First Amendment rights to discuss bias in his trial openly. Kise argued that Trump had not threatened the clerk’s safety and suggested that the clerk, Allison Greenfield, had brought scrutiny upon herself by being visible in court and using social media.

Judge Friedman’s ruling extends to Trump’s lawyers and other participants in the case. Throughout the trial, Trump and his legal team have scrutinized law clerk Allison Greenfield, portraying her as a partisan influence on Judge Engoron, who is also a Democrat. Engoron has defended Greenfield’s role in the courtroom and imposed fines on Trump for violating the gag order.

Trump’s lawyers, who separately sought a mistrial, argue that Engoron’s orders infringe on free speech rights, particularly in the context of core political speech by a leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. They contend that the restrictions are unconstitutional, especially considering the significant penalties and potential business prohibitions Trump faces in the state.

The case in the Appellate Division is Case # 2023-05859 – Donald J. Trump v. Hon. Arthur F. Engoran – Order Granting Stay 11-16-2023.  Donald Trump has filed an Article 78 petition against Judge Engoran, seeking various forms of relief.  Read the petition HERE:

Case # 2023-05859 – Donald J. Trump v. Hon. Arthur F. Engoran – Article 78 Petition


Donald Trump, Article 78 petition, stay, gag order, Leticia James, Judge Arthur Engoran, Trump Civil Fraud Trial

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