In an ongoing civil fraud trial in New York involving former President Donald Trump, a US appeals court judge, Associate Justice David Friedman of the First Judicial Department, has temporarily lifted the gag order placed on Trump, as reported by CNN.
Justice Friedman's written order, issued on Thursday, highlighted the consideration of constitutional and statutory rights, granting an interim stay on the gag order imposed by Judge Arthur Engoron. The initial gag order was aimed at preventing Trump from making statements about court staff, citing security concerns. This action followed Trump's social media post containing an unfounded allegation involving the judge's law clerk.
Judge Engoron extended the gag order to also prohibit Trump's attorneys from publicly discussing communications between the judge and the law clerk, and Trump faced fines totaling $15,000 as a result.
Trump's legal team sought emergency relief earlier this week, contending that the gag order infringed upon his right to free speech, leading to this recent development celebrated by Chris Kise, Trump's attorney.
Kise emphasized the protection afforded by the Constitution and the First Amendment, expressing that this decision will restore public access to the unprecedented trial proceedings.
The civil fraud case is central to the Trump Organization, focusing on his real estate empire. New York Attorney General Letitia James, the plaintiff, has sued Trump for $250 million and aims to prevent him from conducting business in the state. James, a Democrat, alleges that the Trump Organization misled lenders, insurers, and tax authorities by inflating property values through deceptive appraisals.
Judge Engoron previously ruled Trump and his co-defendants liable for fraud in this case.
(With Agency Inputs)