Appeals Court Rebuffs Trump’s Challenge to New York Gag Order

Appeals Court Rebuffs Trump’s Challenge to New York Gag Order – On Thursday, an appeals court dismissed former President Donald Trump’s attempt to lift the gag order preventing him from commenting on the judge’s staff overseeing his $250 million civil fraud trial, marking another setback in his efforts to challenge the imposed restrictions.

In a four-page ruling, a three-judge appeals panel dismissed Trump’s challenge largely on procedural grounds, saying the mechanism he used to try to overturn the gag order was “not the proper vehicle” and that he can still appeal the order through the “ordinary appellate process.” The panel also noted that “the gravity of potential harm is small, given that the Gag Order is narrow, limited to prohibiting solely statements regarding the court’s staff.”

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Trump’s legal team chose the process that was rejected by the panel “because the ordinary appellate process is essentially pointless in this context,” Trump attorney Chris Kise said. An ordinary appeal, he said, “cannot possibly be completed in time to reverse the ongoing harm.” Kise added that the panel’s decision “denies President Trump the only path available to expedited relief and places his fundamental constitutional rights in a procedural purgatory.”

The decision doesn’t alter the current state of the gag order, reinstated on Nov. 30 after a temporary halt initiated earlier that month by a judge from the New York appeals court, specifically the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department. Throughout the 11-week trial, the gag order against Trump, alongside a separate restriction preventing attorneys from discussing court staff, has remained a prominent aspect. 

These orders are linked to the allegations of Trump fraudulently inflating his net worth. After Trump’s lawyers voiced several complaints about Greenfield, Engoron subsequently imposed a second gag order, forbidding all trial lawyers from discussing communications between him and his staff. Additionally, Trump faces a broader gag order in his federal criminal case in Washington, D.C.

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Where he’s accused of conspiring to subvert the 2020 election. Recently, a federal appeals court mostly upheld this order, preventing Trump from disparaging key witnesses, making comments that could interfere with the trial, or criticizing prosecutors and court staff. While testimony in the civil fraud trial concluded on Wednesday, closing arguments are scheduled for mid-January.

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