Trump Challenges Reinstatement of Judge Engoron’s Gag Order: Latest Legal Battle

After an appeals court reinstated a gag order that was imposed on former President Donald Trump by Judge Arthur Engoron, Trump’s legal team moved on Monday to take that decision to a higher court in New York. The defense case in the $250 million civil trial of Trump, his adult sons, and family business is entering its final week, with Trump’s testimony scheduled for Dec. 11. Here are the latest developments in the legal battles involving Trump, who is considering a return to the White House in 2024.

New York financial fraud

Trump’s lawyers try another appeal of Engoron’s gag order

Key players: Judge Arthur Engoron, clerk Allison Greenfield, Trump lawyer Clifford Robert, New York Court of Appeals

  • Days after an appeals court in New York reinstated Engoron’s gag order designed to prevent Trump from disparaging Greenfield and other members of his staff, Trump’s lawyers filed a brief Monday with the New York Court of Appeals seeking an “expedited review” of that decision, as reported by CBS News.

  • “Without expedited review, [the defendants] will continue to suffer irreparable injury daily, as they are silenced on matters implicating the appearance of bias and impropriety on the bench during a trial of immense stakes,” Robert wrote in the filing.

  • Trump has repeatedly attacked Greenfield, accusing her of being biased against him and wielding too much influence over Engoron in the case in which the judge ruled Trump, his adult sons, and family business are liable for years of financial fraud.

  • Engoron has fined Trump $15,000 for his comments about Greenfield.

  • Trump’s attacks have led to a torrent of threats made against Engoron and Greenfield, according to prosecutors.

Why it matters: As with Engoron’s ultimate ruling in the case, Trump is free to pursue appeals of the gag order. By the same token, however, courts are under no obligation to take up those appeals.

Defense case enters final week

Key players: real estate valuation experts Frederick Chin, Lawrence Moens and John Shubin, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Judge Arthur Engoron

  • Trump’s lawyers began the final week of their defense by calling Chin, who testified Monday that the valuations of Trump’s properties were not overinflated because they relied on their long-term prospects, ABC News reported.

  • In her $250 million civil suit, James alleges that Trump pocketed more than a billion dollars on favorable loan and insurance rates obtained by falsely representing the value of his financial portfolio.

  • Moens and Shubin, who will testify later this week, will counter Engoron’s ruling that Trump overvalued his Mar-a-Lago home and country club by at least 2,300%.

  • Next Monday, Trump is scheduled to be the final witness for the defense and is expected to conclude his testimony the same day.

  • Engoron has asked the prosecution and defense to submit closing arguments on Jan. 11, and has promised to issue his ruling shortly thereafter.

Why it matters: Engoron’s ruling could impact Trump’s ability to conduct business in the state of New York and may well cost the former president millions in fines.

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