Former President Donald Trump has been fined $5,000 for a social media post that disparaged a court staffer involved in his New York civil fraud trial. The post remained on his campaign website for weeks despite a court order to delete it. Judge Arthur Engoron did not hold Trump in contempt at this time but reserved the option to do so in the future if Trump violates the gag order prohibiting personal attacks on court staff. Engoron emphasized that future violations could result in more severe sanctions, including imprisonment. Trump’s lawyers claimed the post’s retention on the website was inadvertent. The judge held Trump responsible for the incident, giving him 10 days to pay the fine.
The post in question was originally made on Trump’s Truth Social platform and made baseless insinuations about a court clerk’s personal life. Trump’s campaign copied the message into an email blast, which was archived on his website, leading to the controversy.
Trump is currently facing a civil fraud trial in which he and his company are accused of providing inflated statements of his net worth and assets to banks and insurers. Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his company committed fraud, and the trial involves remaining claims of conspiracy, insurance fraud, and falsifying business records.
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, a key state witness, is expected to testify soon. Trump and his sons are also expected to testify in the coming weeks, while his daughter Ivanka Trump is disputing a subpoena for her testimony.
The trial has brought unexpected drama, with Trump facing fines and potential contempt charges for his actions related to the case.