NY – donald trump was fined $5,000 after his derogatory social media message about a key court employee in the New York civil fraud trial remained on his campaign website for weeks after the judge ordered it deleted.
He judge Arthur Engoron did not find the former president of the United States in contempt, but reserved the right to do so (and possibly even imprison him) if he continued to violate a gag order prohibiting parties to the case from personally attacking court staff.
Judge Arthur Engoron said leaving the post on the website was a “flagrant violation” of his Oct. 3 order requiring Trump to immediately delete the offending message. The limited gag order, hours after Trump posted the message on the second day of the trial, also prohibited him and others involved in the case from making personal attacks on members of Engoron’s judicial staff.
Trump, who returned to court on Tuesday and Wednesday after attending the first three days of last week, was not in the courtroom on Friday. Outside of this week’s sessions, he directed his feud against Engoron and New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose fraud lawsuit is being heard in the civil trial. Neither of them are covered by Engoron’s gag order.
Trump attorney Christopher Kise blamed the “big machine” of Trump’s presidential campaign for allowing a version of his deleted social media post to remain on its website, saying it was an inadvertent oversight.
Engoron, however, said the responsibility ultimately lies with Trump, even if it was someone from his campaign who did not remove the offensive message.
“I will take this into consideration,” Engoron said after Kise explained the mechanics of how Trump’s post was able to remain on the internet. “But I want to make it clear that Donald Trump is still responsible for the huge machine even if it is a huge one.”