A New York judge fined Donald Trump for violating the gag order in his civil fraud trial on Friday (October 20). Judge Arthur Engoron imposed a $5,000 fine and warned the ex-president about the possibility of jail time.
“Donald Trump has received ample warning from this court as to the possible repercussions of violating the gag order,” Judge Engoron wrote in his court order. “He specifically acknowledged that he understood and would abide by it. Accordingly, issuing yet another warning is no longer appropriate; this court is way beyond the ‘warning’ stage.”
Judge Engoron opted for a fine instead of imprisonment since it was Trump’s first violation, which his lawyers claimed was “inadvertent.” The judge stressed his lack of tolerance for any further violations.
“Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to far more severe sanctions, which may include, but are not limited to, steep financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court and possibly imprisoning him,” he explained.
Judge Engoron issued the gag order after Trump attacked a court clerk on social media. Trump deleted the post from his Truth Social platform, but it remained on his campaign website for two weeks despite the judge ordering it to be taken down.
Earlier this week, Trump was hit with a separate gag order in one of his four criminal cases. Judge Tanya Chutkan forbade him from bad-mouthing prosecutors, court staff and potential witnesses in his election interference case.