Judge fines Trump $5,000 for violating gag order

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In the midst of the civil fraud trial facing former United States President Donald Trump, a New York judge fined him $5,000 for failing to comply with a partial gag order and threatened him with a possible prison sentence for future violations.

Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump to pay the fine within the next 10 days to the New York Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection.

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Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to much harsher penalties," Engoron said in a court filing.

"(These) may include, but are not limited to, harsher financial sanctions, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court, and possibly imprisoning him under the New York Judiciary Law," the judge added.

Engoron imposed a limited gag order against the former president on October 3, after he insulted the judge's top law clerk in a social media post on his Truth Social platform.

The offending post was removed from Truth Social the same day, but the judge complained in his Friday filing that it remained on a Trump 2024 campaign website for 17 days, until the court on Thursday asked that it be removed.

In the current climate, inflammatory lies can, and in some cases have, caused serious physical harm or worse," Engoron added.

He then asked the former president's lawyers "to explain why this flagrant violation (of his order) should not result in serious sanctions, including financial fines, Donald Trump's indictment for contempt of court, and possibly his imprisonment."

According to local media, one of Donald Trump's lawyers, Chris Kise, He justified it by claiming an accident and recalled that the publication had actually been deleted on Truth Social.

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"It's unfortunate and I apologize on behalf of my client," Chris Kise said.

Trump's virulent statements also led to him being banned from making public comments directed at prosecutors, judicial staff and witnesses in the upcoming criminal trial in Washington for his alleged attempts to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

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With information from AFP.

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