A New York appeals court on Thursday denied Donald Trump’s request to overturn a gag order in his ongoing civil fraud trial there, reinstating a limited ruling that prevents him from verbally attacking court staffers.
New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron originally imposed the order on Oct. 3 after the former president disparaged Engoron’s law clerk on social media ― an order that he proceeded to violate multiple times.
In one instance, Trump published a photo of the clerk on Truth Social. The clerk said she began receiving 20 to 30 harassing calls a day on her cellphone, in addition to dozens of threats sent via email and social media.
After the post, Engoron asked if, in this “overheated [political] climate,” the clerk might face “serious physical harm, and worse.”
This week’s decision vacates that pause and immediately reinstates the original gag order.
Trump’s lawyers have also demanded a mistrial, claiming in part that the gag order violates his First Amendment rights to free speech. New York Assistant Attorney General Kevin Wallace said the demand suffers from a “total lack of merit.”
Thursday’s decision should not be confused with a separate and forthcoming appeals court ruling on a gag order imposed by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, in the criminal trial regarding Trump’s efforts to remain in office after losing the 2020 presidential election.