Outside the courtroom where his fraud trial is ongoing, former President Donald Trump criticized Judge Arthur Engoron, sidestepping questions about his “dictator” remarks and the previous night’s debate.
In the fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Judge Engoron is presiding over Trump’s trial. Trump has been a frequent presence during the trial, seizing multiple opportunities to address reporters in between proceedings.
Once again, Trump appeared in court on Thursday morning, and reporters bombarded him with questions about the candidates “taking shots” at him during the previous night’s debate and his recent declaration to be a “dictator” on “day one”—but Trump had other intentions.
A reporter asked Trump, “What’s your reaction to the governors taking shots at you yesterday? The president did well yesterday. What is your reaction to the governor?”
“Thank you very much. Everybody is. This is a witch hunt, the likes of which probably nobody has ever seen. And you have people being murdered outside all over the streets. They’re being murdered. This violent crime, and this attorney general is crazy. She’s a lunatic. The attorney general. Sincere because she knows that she has a judge in the matter. With all the evidence that you have, that judge is going to rule in their favor. He ruled against me before the case even started. The case had started. He knew nothing, and he ruled against me,” Trump declared.
“The other thing is, this is an oral argument. I’m sure it was what was good for her case. And the value of $18 million when, in fact, it’s worth anywhere from 50 to 100 times that amount. Nobody’s ever seen anything like it. But just remember what I said at the beginning. We won at the appellate division, and this judge refuses to honor that victory or that decision for that demand. Thank you very much,” Trump added.
Every day Trump has to spend in a court to fight these BS charges is a day he can't campaign or spend time speaking to the issues in America.
This election is being rigged by the courts. pic.twitter.com/iScfYF4QzW
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) December 7, 2023
In less than a week after a lower court affirmed the gag order imposed by the state judge overseeing his civil fraud case, Trump filed an appeal to the New York Court of Appeals.
As reported by The Washington Examiner, Trump has been subject to a gag order since the initial weeks of his trial, commencing in October, due to his social media posts referencing Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron and his staff. The Examiner highlighted that Trump’s filing became part of the New York Appellate Division, First Judicial Department docket on Monday, revealing the former president’s intention to challenge the lower court’s decision before the state’s highest court.
“Engoron contends his principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, has sustained harassing and antisemitic messages ever since Trump posted a picture of her with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and referred to her as his ‘girlfriend’ on Oct. 4, the second day of the civil fraud trial against the Trump Organization,” the outlet explained.
“Trump was ordered to delete the social media post and entered a gag order against him that day. Engoron has ruled Trump has violated the order twice and fined him a total of $15,000 so far, a fee Trump has already paid out,” the report continued. “The order has since been expanded to block Trump’s attorneys from commenting about his communications with the clerk, who sits next to Engoron during the trial.”
Meanwhile, in addition to facing federal and state charges, former President Trump is confronted with legal challenges aimed at preventing him from appearing on the 2024 ballot in multiple states.
A coalition of parties, including more than a dozen attorneys general from states under Republican control, has submitted briefs in a legal dispute questioning the constitutional eligibility of Donald Trump to be listed on Colorado’s 2024 ballot.
After last month’s ruling against six voters who argued that Trump’s role in the January 6 attack on the U.S. lacked foundation, the Colorado Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case this week. An insurrection clause from the Civil War, barring individuals who engaged in insurrection from holding office, is central to this legal challenge, as reported by Colorado News.
In her November 17 ruling, Judge Sarah B. Wallace asserted that the 14th Amendment’s Section 3, which prohibits individuals from holding office again if they engage in insurrection after taking an oath to support the Constitution, does not apply to the presidency. Despite finding that Trump “engaged in insurrection” according to that provision, Wallace concluded that the president is not covered by the list of “officer(s) of the United States” in Section 3.
Both parties promptly appealed the case to the state’s highest court. Plaintiffs, backed by the Washington, DC-based nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, argue that Wallace’s determination regarding the president’s exclusion from Section 3 is “nonsensical.”
Legal representatives for Trump have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to scrutinize various aspects of the case, challenging the conclusion that the former president was involved in an alleged insurrection.