Judge Engoron Imposes Gag Order After Trump Attacks Clerk

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Re: Judge Engoron Imposes Gag Order After Trump Attacks Cler

Postby admin » Fri Nov 24, 2023 10:42 pm

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Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL, including the Racist & Incompetent Attorney General of New York State, Letitia ‘Peekaboo’ James, who has let Murder & Violence Crime FLOURISH, & Businesses FLEE; the Radical Left Trump Hating Judge, a ‘Psycho,’ Arthur Engoron, who Criminally Defrauded the State of New York, & ME, by purposely Valuing my Assets at a ‘tiny’ Fraction of what they are really worth in order to convict me of Fraud before even a Trial, or seeing any PROOF, & used his Politically Biased & Corrupt Campaign Finance Violator, Chief Clerk Alison Greenfield, to sit by his side on the ‘Bench’ & tell him what to do,” & Crooked Joe Biden, who has WEAPONIZED his Department of Injustice against his Political Opponent, & allowed our Country to go to HELL' and all of the other Radical Left Lunatics, Communists, Fascists, Marxists, Democrats, & RINOS, who are seriously looking to DESTROY OUR COUNTRY. Have no fear, however, we will WIN the Presidential Election of 2024, & MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!”

Nov 23, 2023, 12:03 AM
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Re: Judge Engoron Imposes Gag Order After Trump Attacks Cler

Postby admin » Sat Nov 25, 2023 3:49 am

Part 1 of 2

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
APPELLATE DIVISION: FIRST JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
In the Matter of the Application of

DONALD J. TRUMP, DONALD J. TRUMP, JR., ERIC TRUMP, ALLEN WEISSELBERG, JEFFREY MCCONNEY, THE DONALD J. REVOCABLE TRUST, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION, INC., THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION, LLC, DJT HOLDINGS LLC, DJT HOLDINGS MANAGING MEMBER, TRUMP ENDEAVOR 12 LLC, TRUMP OLD POST OFFICE LLC, 40 WALL STREET LLC, AND SEVEN SPRINGS LLC,

Petitioners,

for a Judgment pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules

-against

THE HONORABLE ARTHUR F. ENGORON, J.S.C., AND PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK by LETITIA JAMES, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK,

Respondents.

Case No. 2023-05859

AFFIRMATION IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR A STAY

DENNIS FAN, an attorney admitted to practice law in the State of New York, who is not a party to this action, under penalty of perjury affirms as follows:

1. I am a Senior Assistant Solicitor General in the Office of Letitia James, Attorney General of the State of New York (OAG), the plaintiff in the underlying Executive Law § 63(12) enforcement action from which this C.P.L.R. article 78 petition arose. The petition seeks a writ of prohibition against respondents the Honorable Arthur F. Engoron—the justice of Supreme Court, New York County, who is presiding over the ongoing trial in the Executive Law § 63(12) action brought by OAG against petitioners—and OAG. I submit this affirmation in opposition to the motion by petitioners—entities operating as the Trump Organization and certain executives of the Trump Organization—for a stay of four orders of Supreme Court, dated October 3, 20, 26, and November 3, 2023, while this Court resolves their petition challenging those orders. I am familiar with the facts and circumstances of this matter based upon my review of the relevant orders and decisions rendered and submissions filed by the parties in this action, and through communications with other OAG attorneys.

2. Supreme Court issued the four orders challenged here to protect the safety of the court’s staff and to ensure the orderly progression of trial proceedings. The court issued the orders in response to the extraordinary and dangerous personal attacks made against the court’s staff by both petitioner Donald J. Trump and petitioners’ counsel during the ongoing trial. Specifically, petitioners and their counsel repeatedly made baseless, highly inappropriate, and personally identifying attacks against the court’s principal law clerk. Despite multiple warnings from the court, those attacks continued.

3. Supreme Court’s October 3 and November 3 orders properly prohibited petitioners and their counsel, respectively, from continuing to target the court’s staff. The court issued its October 3 order, which prohibits the parties from publicly commenting about the court’s staff, after Mr. Trump’s posted on social media and emailed to millions of recipients a personally identifying and disparaging comment about the court’s principal law clerk. The court issued its November 3 order, which prohibits the parties’ counsel from commenting on the principal law clerk’s communications with the court, after petitioners’ counsel refused to stop repeating unprofessional and vexatious arguments about the fact that the principal law clerk communicates with and advises the court—which is a significant part of her job. Each of these orders properly imposed exceedingly limited restraints on speech to protect the safety of the court’s staff and preserve the orderly administration of the trial. Accordingly, petitioners’ free-speech arguments are meritless and the equities tip decisively against a stay. As courts have repeatedly made clear, neither litigants nor their counsel have an unfettered right to say whatever they want in the context of an ongoing trial. Rather, trial courts may impose reasonable limits on trial participants to further important interests such as protecting court safety and preserving the orderly administration of trial proceedings. Otherwise, any trial could be derailed by ad hominem attacks against witnesses, staff, opposing counsel, or other participants.

4. Supreme Court’s October 20 and 26 orders properly sanctioned Mr. Trump $5,000 and $10,000, respectively, for violating the court’s October 3 order. The court issued its October 20 order after Mr. Trump continued to publish on his presidential campaign’s website the derogatory post about the court’s principal law clerk, despite the court’s order prohibiting such statements. The court issued its October 26 order after Mr. Trump made another inappropriate comment about the principal law clerk, accusing her of being a partisan actor at trial, to reporters located immediately outside the courtroom. The Court should deny petitioners’ motion to stay enforcement of these two orders because Mr. Trump has already paid the monetary sanctions and the motion is thus moot. Moreover, there will be no irreparable harm to Mr. Trump absent a stay because he will get the monetary amounts back if he ultimately prevails in the underlying petition. Finally, petitioners’ arguments about contempt fail because the court did not hold Mr. Trump in contempt. Rather, the court properly imposed sanctions for frivolous conduct under the Rules of the Chief Administrator (22 N.Y.C.R.R.) § 130-1.1 and the court’s inherent authority. Specifically, “frivolous conduct” is defined for this purpose as, inter alia, conduct “undertaken primarily . . . to harass or maliciously injure another.” Rules of the Chief Administrator § 130-1.1(c)(2).

5. A single justice of this Court issued an interim stay of Supreme Court’s four orders pending this Court’s resolution of petitioners’ full stay motion. The return date for that motion is November 27. OAG urges the Court to deny the motion as soon as possible, and prior to the completion of trial, which will conclude on or around December 8 (absent rebuttal witnesses). A speedy denial is necessary to ensure the safety of Supreme Court’s staff and the integrity and the orderly administration of the proceedings through the end of the trial.

BACKGROUND

6. In September 2022, OAG brought an action in Supreme Court against petitioners pursuant to Executive Law § 63(12), alleging that they engaged in repeated and persistent fraud and illegality in the carrying on, conducting, or transaction of their business in New York. See Ex. A, Verified Compl., ¶¶ 1-8 (Sept. 21, 2022).1 A bench trial in that action has been ongoing since October 2, 2023. OAG completed its case in chief on November 8, and petitioners are currently presenting their case in chief. See Ex. F, Nov. 8 Tr. at 3842-44. The trial remains ongoing, and petitioners have indicated that they will conclude their case in chief on or around December 8.

7. The high-profile nature of this trial has required extensive security preparations by Supreme Court, the Office of Court Administration, the parties, and counsel. Since the start of trial, the court has been “inundated with hundreds of harassing and threat[en]ing phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters, and packages.” Ex. J, Nov. 3 Order at 2. The court issued the challenged orders to protect the safety of its staff (approximately three staff members) during the trial and to ensure the orderly administration of trial. See Ex. F, Oct. 26 Tr. at 2479; id., Nov. 2 Tr. at 3396.

A. Supreme Court Issues Its October 3 Order Against Petitioner Donald J. Trump and Other Petitioners to Protect the Court’s Staff

8. From the October 2 start of trial, petitioners’ counsel began personally targeting Supreme Court’s principal law clerk in a highly unprofessional and inappropriate manner. For example, during her opening statement, one of petitioners’ counsel improperly commented about the principal law clerk by openly complaining that she is “probably writing [the court] a note right now to say” that counsel’s arguments were inaccurate See Ex. F, Oct. 2 Tr. at 58.

9. That day, during a break from trial, Mr. Trump announced outside the courtroom door, in front of news cameras: “This rogue judge, a Trump hater. The only one that hates Trump more is his associate up there, this person that works with him, and she’s screaming into his ear on almost every time we ask a question. It’s a disgrace.”.[/b][/size] LiveNOW from FOX, Trump trial video: Trump blasts ‘rogue’ judge during break at civil fraud trial at 1:06-1:22, YouTube (Oct. 2, 2023), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59momWwUiGQ. The court then gave petitioners an off-the-record warning about the inappropriate nature of those comments. See Ex. F, Oct. 3 Tr. at 270.

10. Despite that warning, the next morning on October 3, Mr. Trump posted a personally identifying and inappropriate remark about Supreme Court’s principal law clerk on the Truth Social social-media platform. A copy of Mr. Trump’s Truth Social posts is attached as Exhibit 1. In the post, Mr. Trump asserted that it was “disgraceful” that she was “running this case against me.” In that same post, he reposted a photograph of the principal law clerk and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, taken at an April 2022 event, and claimed that she was “Schumer’s girlfriend.” Through his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump emailed the post to millions of recipients. See Ex. F, Oct. 3 Tr. at 270; id., Oct. 20 Tr. at 2023. And he boasted to the news cameras outside the courtroom, “you saw what was just put out about Schumer and the principal clerk.” @SkyNews, Twitter (Oct. 3, 2023, 1:01 p.m.), https://twitter.com/i/status/1709252399234260995.

11. That afternoon, Supreme Court issued an on-the-record order “forbidding all parties from posting, emailing, or speaking publicly about any members of [the court’s] staff.” Ex. F, Oct. 3 Tr. at 271. As the court explained, Mr. Trump’s statements about the principal law clerk were “disparaging, untrue and personally identifying.” Id. at 270. The court further explained that such “[p]ersonal attacks on members of [the] court staff” were “unacceptable” and “inappropriate.” Id. And the court explicitly warned the parties that violations of the October 3 order would result in “serious sanctions.” Id. at 271. At that time, Mr. Trump represented to the court that he would not engage in similar conduct again. See id., Oct. 20 Tr. at 2021.


12. On October 26, Supreme Court entered a so-ordered transcript containing the October 3 order. A copy of that so-ordered transcript is attached as Exhibit 2.

B. Supreme Court Issues Its October 20 and 26 Sanctions Orders Against Mr. Trump for Violations of the October 3 Order

13. Supreme Court, during the next few weeks, addressed two instances where Mr. Trump violated the October 3 Order.

14. First, despite the order, Mr. Trump failed to remove the offending Truth Social post about the principal law clerk from his campaign website for 17 days, until October 20. See Ex. G, Oct. 20 Order at 1. As a result, the post remained viewable to millions of people.

15. Supreme Court offered petitioners an opportunity to explain on the record their ongoing publication of the Truth Social post, informing them on the evening of October 19 that they should prepare to address the matter the next day in court. See Ex. K, Oct. 19 Email from Supreme Court. Petitioners and petitioners’ counsel were thus able both to consult regarding how Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign posted the website statements and to present that information to the court. See Ex. F, Oct. 20 Tr. at 2023-25 (discussing counsel’s “confirmation” of certain facts). Petitioners, however, did not dispute that the offending statements in fact remained on Mr. Trump’s campaign website for 17 days after the October 3 order issued.

16. On October 20, Supreme Court issued a sanctions order that required Mr. Trump to pay “a nominal fine” of $5,000 for violating the October 3 order. Ex. G, Oct. 20 Order at 2. The court warned of the dangers of allowing the post to remain published on Mr. Trump’s campaign website, explaining that “[ i]n the current overheated climate, incendiary untruths can, and in some cases already have, led to serious physical harm, and worse.” Id. The court also rejected Mr. Trump’s argument that their continued publication of the Truth Social post resulted from only the “campaign structure.” Id. at 1-2. Petitioners’ counsel identified no person ultimately responsible for Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign other than Mr. Trump. See Ex. F, Oct. 20 Tr. at 2022-26. And Mr. Trump did not dispute that the violation resulted from the actions of his employees or agents. See id. at 2023 (blaming “campaign communication team”); see also Ex. G, Oct. 20 Order at 2 (holding that actions of employees or agents are enough for imposing sanctions).

17. Second, despite the multiple warnings and the first sanction, Mr. Trump violated the October 3 order yet again. On October 25, during a break from trial, Mr. Trump announced to the news cameras outside the courtroom: “This judge is a very partisan judge, with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside of him, perhaps even much more partisan than he is.” Jack Queen & Luc Cohen, Donald Trump Fined $10,000 for Second Gag Order Violation in Civil Fraud Case, Reuters (Oct. 25, 2023), https://www.reuters.com/legal/donald-tr ... -offagain- new-york-fraud-trial-2023-10-25/ (video at 0:00-0:10).

18. When the parties returned to the courtroom after the break, Supreme Court observed that Mr. Trump appeared to have again made disparaging comments about its principal law clerk. And the court reiterated the need to protect its staff in this “overheated environment,” explaining that “I don’t want anybody killed.” Ex. F, Oct. 25 Tr. at 2372-73. The court then gave Mr. Trump ample opportunity to respond. For example, the court confirmed that petitioners’ counsel had a chance to confer with Mr. Trump about to whom he was referring in his remark. The court provided counsel time to argue that Mr. Trump had been referring to the witness who was testifying that day rather than the principal law clerk. Id. at 2374, 2415-23. And the court held a hearing, in which the court placed Mr. Trump under oath and questioned him about the statement. See id. at 2412- 15. After listening to Mr. Trump’s testimony, the court found “not credible” his assertion that his comment had referred to the witness rather than to the principal law clerk. See id. at 2415

19. As a result, Supreme Court again sanctioned Mr. Trump, this time in the amount of $10,000. Ex. F, Oct. 25 Tr. at 2415, 2423. The court memorialized that ruling in an order issued the next day. Ex. H, Oct. 26 Order. The court determined that Mr. Trump, “[q]uite clearly, was referring, once again, to my Principal Law Clerk, who sits alongside me on the bench.” Id. at 1. As the court explained, Mr. Trump’s language “mirror[ed]” his prior language on October 3, when he complained about the principal law clerk “‘up there’” at the bench who works with the court and was purportedly “‘screaming into [the judge’s] ear.’” Id. at 2. The court further explained that it was implausible that Mr. Trump’s statement had referred to a witness because the witnesses did not sit alongside the judge and instead sat “in the witness box, separated from the judge by a low wooden barrier.” Id.

20. On October 26, 2023, Mr. Trump paid the $5,000 and $10,000 fines to the New York Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection. Ex. I, Oct. 26 Letter from Alina Habba.

C. Supreme Court Issues Its November 3 Order to Protect the Court’s Staff and Preserve the Orderly Administration of Proceedings After Petitioners’ Counsel Make Inappropriate Remarks About the Principal Law Clerk

21. Around the time of the second sanctions order, petitioners’ counsel again began making unprofessional and inappropriate comments about Supreme Court’s principal law clerk. Petitioners’ counsel made repeated comments about where the principal law clerk sits in the courtroom, taking issue with her sitting near the judge. See, e.g., Ex. F, Oct. 25 Tr. at 2308, 2416, 2419-20; id., Oct. 26 Tr. at 2470-71; id., Nov. 2 Tr. at 3398-99. And counsel similarly made repeated comments about the principal law clerk passing notes to the judge during the trial. See, e.g., id., Oct. 26 Tr. at 2470; id., Oct. 31 Tr. at 1911; id., Nov. 1 Tr. at 3061; id., Nov. 2 Tr. at 3396, 3399, 3404. For instance, petitioners’ counsel insisted that “the law secretary is writing notes advocating” to the court. Id., Oct. 26 Tr. at 2470. Counsel also cast aspersions on the court’s process for consulting with its principal law clerk, such as announcing during trial that “I’ll wait again to get the note” from the clerk, because the court “may have a question” based on that note or because the note might instead just be about “dinner.” Id., Nov. 2 Tr. at 3396. Counsel openly accused the court of “co-judging” with its principal law clerk. Id. at 3403.

22. On November 2, Supreme Court cautioned petitioners’ counsel to stop referring to its staff and that the court was considering expanding the October 2 order to cover counsel. Id. at 3396-97. The court explained to counsel that the principal law clerk is a civil servant whose job is to assist the court in processing and deciding cases. Id. at 3396. Indeed, the court explained, judges have a right to receive advice from their law clerks. Id. at 3400.

23. On November 3, petitioners’ counsel continued to insist on discussing the principal law clerk’s role at trial. See id. at 3408-23. For instance, counsel suggested that her passing notes to the judge somehow injected possible bias into the trial. Id. at 3418. But the court explained (again) to counsel that this was part of its “unfettered right to get advice from my principal law clerk or assistant law clerk.” Id. at 3411. The court noted that it was a shame that counsel, in attacking the principal law clerk at trial, had “descended to this level.” Id. at 3422.

24. Later that day, Supreme Court issued an order prohibiting all counsel from making “public statements, in or out of court, that refer to any confidential communications, in any form,” between the court and its staff. See Ex. J, Nov. 3 Order at 3. The court observed that it had initially imposed the October 2 order on only the parties because it had been “operating under the assumption that such a gag order would be unnecessary upon the attorneys, who are officers of the Court.” Id. at 1. However, the court explained, petitioners’ counsel had made “repeated, inappropriate remarks” about the court’s principal law clerk, including making “long speeches” alleging that it is improper for a judge to consult with a law clerk during proceedings. Id. at 2. The court explained that petitioners’ arguments had no basis because it is well established that “[a] judge may consult with court personnel whose function is to aid the judge in carrying out the judge’s adjudicative responsibility.” Id. at 2 (quoting 22 N.Y.C.R.R. § 100.3(B)(6)(c)). The court further explained that petitioners’ counsel had already “had ample opportunity to make their record, and they have at length,” and that their objections to the principal law clerk’s role were preserved. Id. at 3. The court underscored that its order was to protect the safety of its staff and promote the orderly progression of the trial. Id.

D. Supreme Court Declines to Sign Petitioners’ Proposed Order to Show Cause on Their Motion for a Mistrial

25. On November 15, petitioners presented an order to show cause to Supreme Court, requesting that the court direct briefing on their motion for a mistrial. Petitioners’ motion again raised issues about the principal law clerk. For example, petitioners again accused the court of “cojudging” by consulting its law clerk. (See Nov. 15 Mot for Mistrial at 4, No. 452564/2022, Sup. Ct. NYSCEF Doc. No. 1634.)

26. On November 17, Supreme Court declined to sign the proposed order to show cause and provided an accompanying decision that explained its reasoning. A copy of that declined order to show cause and the accompanying decision is attached as Exhibit 3. In particular, the court explained that petitioners’ arguments were “utterly without merit” and that there was “absolutely no ‘co-judging’ at play.” Ex. 3, Nov. 17 Decision at 3. The court again explained that the court has a right to consult its law clerks. Id. at 2. And the court emphasized that the principal law clerk “does not make rulings or issue orders—I do.” Id.

E. The Interim Stay and Subsequent Events

27. On November 15, petitioners filed the instant article 78 petition in this Court, challenging Supreme Court’s October 3 and November 3 orders as unconstitutional under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 8 of the New York Constitution and challenging Supreme Court’s October 20 and 26 sanctions orders as unlawful. Pet. ¶¶ 126-252.

28. On November 16, a single justice of this Court granted an interim stay of those orders while this Court resolves petitioners’ motion for a stay of the orders pending its disposition of the article 78 petition. See Interim Order, NYSCEF Doc. No. 7 (Nov. 16, 2023).

29. Since this Court’s grant of an interim stay, Mr. Trump has engaged in a number of personal attacks against Supreme Court’s principal law clerk on the Truth Social social-media platform. For example, on November 16, he posted that the court’s “politically biased and out of control, Trump Hating Clerk, who is sinking him and his Court to new levels of LOW, is a disgrace.” Ex. 1, Truth Social Posts at 2. Two days later, he reposted an online article suggesting that the principal law clerk engaged in drug use. Id. at 3. In yet another post, Mr. Trump lambasted the “crooked and highly partisan Law Clerk” and stated that she “should be sanctioned and prosecuted over this complete and very obvious MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE!!!” Id. at 4. Just yesterday, on November 21, Mr. Trump again attacked the “horrendous, seething with ANGER Law Clerk, with her illegal campaign contributions.” Id. at 5.

30. The return date on petitioners’ stay motion is November 27.

ARGUMENT

THE COURT SHOULD DENY PETITIONERS’ MOTION FOR A STAY


31. A stay pending appeal under C.P.L.R. 7805 is an extraordinary remedy to which petitioners have not shown any entitlement. To earn that relief, petitioners must establish a probability of success on the merits of their article 78 petition. See Rand v. Rand, 201 A.D.2d 403, 403 (1st Dep’t 1994). Here, it is well established that “prohibition is an extraordinary remedy which lies only where a clear legal right to such relief exists, and only when a court ‘acts or threatens to act either without jurisdiction or in excess of its authorized powers.’” Matter of Neal v. White, 46 A.D.3d 156, 159 (1st Dep’t 2007) (footnote omitted) (quoting Matter of Holtzman v. Goldman, 71 N.Y.2d 564, 569 (1988)). Prohibition is “never available merely to correct or prevent trial errors of substantive law or procedure, however grievous.” Id. at 159 (quotation marks omitted); see Matter of Johnson v. Price, 28 A.D.3d 79, 81 (1st Dep’t 2006).

32. Petitioners must further demonstrate the prospect of irreparable harm without a stay. See DeLury v. City of New York, 48 A.D.2d 405, 405 (1st Dep’t 1975). This Court is also “duty-bound to consider the relative hardships that would result from granting (or denying) a stay,” Da Silva v. Musso, 76 N.Y.2d 436, 443 n.4 (1990), which in this context entails weighing the prejudice to OAG and the public if the stay is granted, see Mark Davies et al., 8 New York Practice Series, Civil Appellate Practice § 9:4 (3d ed. May 2023 update) (Westlaw). Petitioners cannot challenge Supreme Court’s orders through article 78, and in any event, each of this Court’s stay criteria warrants denial of petitioners’ stay motion here.

A. Article 78 Is Unavailable to Challenge Supreme Court’s Orders.

33. As a threshold manner [matter], the Court should deny a stay because petitioners cannot challenge Supreme Court’s orders through an article 78 proceeding. By its plain terms, article 78 cannot be used to challenge a determination that “can be adequately reviewed by appeal to a court or to some other body or officer.” C.P.L.R. 7801(1); see Matter of Rush v. Morgue, 68 N.Y.2d 348, 354 (1986) (applying this rule to petition seeking prohibition). Here, Supreme Court’s orders were issued without motion practice during a civil case. Petitioners may file a motion to vacate those orders and appeal from any denial of that motion to obtain an appeal. See Sholes v. Meagher, 100 N.Y.2d 333, 335-36 (2003); Budwilowitz v. Marc Nichols Assoc., 195 A.D.3d 404, 144 (1st Dep’t), appeal dismissed & lv. denied, 37 N.Y.3d 1132, rearg. denied, 38 N.Y.3d 1001 (2021), cert. denied, 143 S. Ct. 429 (2022). Because petitioners have adequate appellate remedies, article 78 is unavailable. See Matter of Molea v. Marasco, 64 N.Y.2d 718, 720 (1984); see also Matter of Northern Manhattan Equities, LLC v. Civil Ct. of the City of N.Y., 191 A.D.3d 536, 536 (1st Dep’t 2021).

34. Petitioners incorrectly claim (Pet. ¶¶ 179-80, 231-32) that article 78 is available to review the October 3 and November 3 orders that restricted their statements regarding Supreme Court’s staff. Petitioners rely on (Pet. ¶¶ 185, 243-44) article 78 challenges to gag orders that arose in criminal cases, but the underlying case here is civil rather than criminal. That distinction matters because the Court has only granted “Article 78 relief vacating gag orders preventing counsel from speaking with the press in the course of criminal prosecutions,” Matter Fischetti v. Scherer, 44 A.D.3d 89, 91 (1st Dep’t 2007) (emphasis added), where immediate review is presumably needed to protect the criminal defendant’s constitutional jury-trial rights, see Matter of New York Times Co. v. Rothwax, 143 A.D.2d 592, 592 (1st Dep’t 1988). No such concerns are at issue in this civil bench trial.

35. Petitioners also err in arguing (Pet. ¶¶ 30, 145) that the October 20 and 26 sanctions orders are reviewable under article 78 because they are orders “summarily punishing a contempt committed in the presence of the court,” see C.P.L.R. 7801(2). As explained below (infra ¶¶ 69- 77), Supreme Court imposed sanctions for frivolous conduct and did not hold Mr. Trump in contempt, let alone do so summarily. The Court of Appeals has indeed held that those challenging a sanctions order entered without motions practice must instead proceed by first moving to vacate the order and then appealing from any denial of that motion. See Sholes, 100 N.Y.2d at 335-36.

B. The Court Should Deny Petitioners’ Request to Stay the October 3 or November 3 Orders Prohibiting Statements Regarding Supreme Court’s Staff.

1. Petitioners have no likelihood of success on the merits because the October 3 and November 3 orders are constitutional.


36. The Court should also deny a stay because the October 3 and November 3 orders each fully complies with both the federal and state Constitutions. Neither the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution nor Article I, Section 8 of the New York Constitution prohibit trial courts from restricting speech of trial participants if it threatens the safety of the court’s staff or frustrates the orderly progression of an ongoing trial. To the contrary, courts have the power to impose reasonable restrictions on both litigants and their attorneys during ongoing proceedings when necessary to safeguard those important interests.

37. It is well established that, “[a]lthough litigants do not surrender their First Amendment rights at the courthouse door, those rights may be subordinated to other interests that arise in this setting.” Seattle Times Co. v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 32 n.18 (1984) (quotation marks omitted); see Matter of Fischetti, 44 A.D.3d at 92-93 (“[ i]t is important to remember that reasonable limitations may be placed on speech where an important countervailing interest is being served.”). As the U.S. Supreme Court has explained, the right to freedom of speech “must not be allowed to divert the trial from the very purpose of a court system to adjudicate controversies, both criminal and civil, in the calmness and solemnity of the courtroom according to legal procedures.” Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333, 350-51 (1966). Thus, courts have an affirmative duty to “take such steps by rule and regulation that will protect their processes from prejudicial outside interferences,” and “[n]either prosecutors, counsel for defense, the accused, witnesses, court staff nor enforcement officers coming under the jurisdiction of the court should be permitted to frustrate its function.” Id. at 363.

38. In light of these important considerations present during ongoing litigation, “[t]he Supreme Court and [federal] Courts of Appeals have recognized a distinction between participants in the litigation and strangers to it, pursuant to which gag orders on trial participants are evaluated under a less stringent standard than gag orders on the press.” United States v. Brown, 218 F.3d 415, 425 (5th Cir. 2000) (quotation marks omitted); see Matter of National Broadcasting Co. v. Cooperman, 116 A.D.2d 287, 292-93 (2d Dep’t 1986) (similar). A more stringent standard is required for restraints on the press because of the “unique role” the press plays as the “public’s ‘eyes and ears’” into the judicial system. Brown, 218 F.3d at 427. Unlike trial participants, “[t]he press . . . guards against the miscarriage of justice by subjecting the police, prosecutors, and judicial processes to extensive public scrutiny and criticism,” and the Supreme Court “has, therefore, been unwilling to place any direct limitations on the freedom traditionally exercised by the news media.” Sheppard, 384 U.S. at 350. Trial participants do not play this same role, see id. at 350-51—indeed, “[ i]n the conduct of a case, a court often finds it necessary to restrict the free expression of participants, including counsel, witnesses, and jurors.” Gulf Oil Co. v. Bernard, 452 U.S. 89, 104 n.21 (1981). Thus, as both federal courts and New York courts have recognized, “the tests which must be applied in cases involving prior restraints on publication are stricter than the tests which may be applied to prior restraints upon attorneys, parties, jurors and court personnel.” Cooperman, 116 A.D.2d at 293 (citing Nebraska Press Assn. v. Stuart, 427 U.S. 539, 562 (1976)); see Gentile v. State Bar of Nev., 501 U.S. 1030, 1072-73 (1991) (drawing “distinction between participants in the litigation and strangers to it” under the First Amendment).

39. Accordingly, while restraints imposed by a trial court on the press or other non-trial participants “bear a heavy presumption of constitutional invalidity which may only be overcome upon a showing of a ‘clear and present danger’ of a serious threat to the administration of justice,” Cooperman, 116 A.D.2d at 292, the same rule does not apply to restraints imposed by a court on trial participants.2 Instead, as it relates to the free-speech rights of litigants or their attorneys outside the courtroom, prior restraints may be imposed on a “showing of a necessity for such restraint and a determination that less restrictive alternatives” are unavailable. Id. at 293; see Rothwax, 143 A.D.2d at 592. The requisite necessity for a prior restraint on trial participants can be established “upon a showing of a ‘reasonable likelihood’ of a serious and imminent threat to the administration of justice.” Cooperman, 116 A.D.2d at 292; accord Cleveland v. Perry, 175 A.D.3d 1017, 1019 (4th Dep’t 2019); Matter of Fischetti, 44 A.D.3d at 93; In re Dow Jones & Co., Inc., 842 F.2d 603, 610 (2d Cir. 1988). A judicial order restraining speech should be “limited solely to information or statements which might be likely to impugn the fairness and integrity of the trial.” Cooperman, 116 A.D.2d at 294.

40. The free-speech rights of attorneys inside the courtroom during litigation are even more limited. “[A] trial court has broad authority to control the courtroom, rule on the admission of evidence, elicit and clarify testimony, expedite the proceedings and to admonish counsel and witnesses when necessary.” Pramer S.C.A. v. Abaplus Intl. Corp., 123 A.D.3d 474, 474 (1st Dep’t 2014) (quotation marks omitted); see C.P.L.R. 4011 (“The court may . . . regulate the conduct of the trial in order to achieve a speedy and unprejudiced disposition of the matters at issue in a setting of proper decorum.”). Thus, “[ i]t is unquestionable that in the courtroom itself, during a judicial proceeding, whatever right to ‘free speech’ an attorney has is extremely circumscribed.” 3 Gentile, 501 U.S. at 1071; see Mezibov v. Allen, 411 F.3d 712, 720-21 (6th Cir. 2005) (“[ I]n the context of the courtroom proceedings, an attorney retains no personal First Amendment rights when representing his client in those proceedings.”). As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit explained in rejecting the argument that attorneys have First Amendment rights in the courtroom, “[a]n attorney’s speech in court and in motion papers has always been tightly cabined by various procedural and evidentiary rules, along with the heavy hand of judicial discretion.” Mezibov, 411 F.3d at 717.

41. Applying these principles, the October 3 and November 3 orders comport with free-speech rights, and the Court should thus deny petitioners’ request for a stay.

a. The October 3 order is appropriately tailored to protect Supreme Court’s staff from harassment and harm, without undue burden on the parties’ speech.

42. Supreme Court’s October 3 order properly prohibited the parties in the underlying proceeding from making public statements about members of the court’s staff to protect their safety and the progress of proceedings. See Ex. F, Oct. 3 Tr. at 270.

43. Supreme Court adequately demonstrated the necessity of a restraint on the parties’ speech. Contrary to petitioners’ arguments (Pet. ¶¶ 193, 198), the need to protect the court’s staff and manage the trial were well founded. The court issued the October 3 order only after learning that Mr. Trump had made “a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying [social-media] post about a member of [the court’s] staff.” Ex. F, Oct. 3 Tr. at 270. The post included a picture of the court’s principal law clerk with a U.S. Senator, insinuated that the clerk had a personal relationship with him, and attacked her integrity. See Ex. 1, Truth Social Posts at 1. This personally identifying post targeting a member of the court’s staff was not only posted online but was also emailed to millions of other recipients. See Ex. F, Oct. 3 Tr. at 270; id., Oct. 20 Tr. at 2023.

44. Supreme Court reasonably determined that such posts put the court’s staff at risk of harassment and harm, see Rules of the Chief Administrator § 130-1.1(c)(2), creating a “‘reasonable likelihood’ of a serious and imminent threat to the administration of justice.” Cooperman, 116 A.D.2d at 292. As the court later explained, it has been “inundated with hundreds of harassing and threat[en]ing phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters, and packages.” Ex. J, Nov. 3 Order at 2. In light of these harassing and threatening communications, the court properly concluded that any purported constitutional right of the parties to engage in personal attacks on its staff were outweighed by the need to protect its staff and ensure the progress of trial.

45. Supreme Court’s order was especially appropriate because of Mr. Trump’s pattern of similar conduct in other trials where he is a defendant. For example, in the criminal prosecution of Mr. Trump pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the court imposed a similar order on Mr. Trump after he made personally identifying and disparaging statements on social media about individuals involved in those proceedings, determining that Mr. Trump’s “statements pose sufficiently grave threats to the integrity of these proceedings that cannot be addressed by alternative means.” Order at 3, United States v. Trump, No. 23-cr-257 (D.D.C. Oct. 17, 2023), ECF No. 105, appeal pending, No. 23-3190 (D.C. Cir.).4 As that court found, “[u]ndisputed testimony . . . demonstrates that when [Mr. Trump] has publicly attacked individuals . . . those individuals are consequently threatened and harassed.” Id. at 2. For example, after Mr. Trump attacked a government official in charge of election integrity via social media, the official received death threats and had to evacuate their home. See Compl., Krebs v. Trump, No. 484243V (Md. Cir. Ct. Montgomery County Dec. 8, 2020). The former Lieutenant Governor of Georgia similarly received death threats after Mr. Trump attacked him on social media. See MSNBC, Morning Joe, Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor Won’t Seek Reelection, Turns Focus to GOP 2.0 (May 18, 2021), https://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch ... rnor-wont- seek-reelection-turns-focus-to-gop-2-0-112276037799.

46. Mr. Trump has continued this pattern in the underlying trial proceedings here. In addition to the social-media posts that prompted the October 3 order, Mr. Trump has repeatedly and routinely attacked the judge, the Attorney General, witnesses, and other individuals involved in these proceedings. See supra ¶¶ 8-30. For instance, this past week, Mr. Trump called for the judge and the Attorney General to be criminally prosecuted and further reposted a call for a citizen’s arrest of those individuals. See Ex. 1, Truth Social Posts at 4; Alison Durkee, Trump Escalates Attacks On Judge, NY Attorney General—Shares Post Urging They Face ‘Citizen’s Arrest’, Forbes (Nov. 14, 2023), https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurk ... umpshares- suggestion-for-ny-judge-and-attorney-general-to-face-citizens-arrest-latest-attack-duringfraud- trial/. Supreme Court thus reasonably concluded that the October 3 order was necessary to protect the safety of its staff—civil servants who support the judge presiding over the trial but who themselves make no decisions. See Ex. F, Nov. 2 Tr. at 3396.

47. The October 3 order is also properly limited to safeguarding the important interests of protecting the court staff’s safety and preserving the fairness and integrity of the trial.5 See Cooperman, 116 A.D.2d at 294. The only topic that the October 3 order prohibits is comments about members of the court’s staff. The October 3 order does not prohibit the parties (or anyone else) from publicly discussing any aspect of the case, commenting on the trial or the court itself, or even making comments about the judge or the Attorney General—broad leeway of which Mr. Trump has taken extensive advantage. See KPNX Broadcasting Co. v. Arizona Superior Ct., 459 U.S. 1302, 1306 (1982) (Rehnquist, J.) (denying stay because orders did “not prohibit the reporting of any facts on the public record” and because “trial has never been closed, and all the proceedings may be reported and commented upon”).

48. The October 3 order is thus not overbroad, as petitioners baselessly claim. See Pet. ¶¶ 192-94. To the contrary, the October 3 order is far narrower than other orders that this Court and other courts have deemed overbroad. For example, in Rothwax, this Court rejected an order that prohibited any discussion of “th[e] case or any subject aspect thereof, or decision relating thereto with the press or media” except for certain scheduling matters. 143 A.D.2d at 592. (quotation marks omitted). Similarly, in Cooperman, the Second Department rejected an order that prohibited attorneys “from speaking to the news media on any matters related to the trial.” 116 A.D.2d at 293; see Cleveland, 175 A.D.3d at 1019 (rejecting order that prohibited parties from “making extrajudicial statements about the action or the underlying facts in a public forum or in front of the media”).6 Here, the October 3 order does not preclude any discussion of the case except for statements about the court’s staff and is thus properly “limited solely to information or statements which might be likely to impugn the fairness and integrity of the trial.” Cooperman, 116 A.D.2d at 294. Contrary to petitioners’ arguments (Pet. ¶¶ 193, 212), Supreme Court need not have identified a specific threat to a member of its staff to justify the order; courts have acknowledged “the ‘necessity’ of some ‘speculation’ and the weighing of ‘factors unknown and unknowable’ confronting a trial judge” in equivalent situations. In re Russell, 726 F.2d 1007, 1011 (4th Cir. 1984) (quoting Nebraska Press, 427 U.S. at 563); see Brown, 218 F.3d at 431. In any event, as the court explained, it has been “inundated with hundreds of harassing and threat[en]ing phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters, and packages” during the trial. Ex. J, Nov. 3 Order at 2.

49. Supreme Court also properly held that no less restrictive alternatives were available to protect its staff’s safety and the integrity of the trial. Indeed, before it issued the October 3 order, the court had warned petitioners that personal attacks on the court’s staff would not be tolerated, but the warning was disregarded. Ex. F, Oct. 3, Tr. at 270. And Mr. Trump’s subsequent conduct confirms that he will not voluntarily refrain from attacking the court’s staff. The October 3 order warned the parties that any violation would result in sanctions, id. at 271, but Mr. Trump failed to remove the offending social-media post from his website and made additional comments about the principal law clerk to the press, including stating that she is “very partisan,” see supra ¶ 17.

50. The October 3 order is also not unconstitutionally vague. See Pet. ¶¶ 217-19. A restraint on speech is vague only when it “fails to provide a person of ordinary intelligence with a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited, and it is written in a manner that permits or encourages arbitrary or discriminatory enforcement.” Matter of Independent. Ins. Agents & Brokers of N.Y., Inc. v. New York State Dept. of Fin. Servs., 39 N.Y.3d 56, 63-64 (2022) (quotation marks omitted). Here, the order—which “forbid[s] all parties from posting, emailing, or speaking publicly about any members of [the court’s] staff, see Ex. F, Oct. 3 Tr. 271—is quite clear. Courts have rejected such vagueness challenges to far broader orders in other cases. See, e.g., Brown, 218 F.3d at 430 (rejecting vagueness challenge to order that prohibited “‘[s]tatements or information intended to influence public opinion regarding the merits of this case’”); Levine v. U.S. Dist. Ct. for Cent. Dist. of Cal., 764 F.2d 590, 598-99 (9th Cir. 1985) (rejecting vagueness challenge to order that prohibited “any statements to members of the news media concerning any aspect of this case that bears upon the merits to be resolved by the jury”).

51. Petitioners miss the mark in arguing (Pet. ¶¶ 219-25) that the October 3 order is vague because Supreme Court concluded that it applied to Mr. Trump’s statement to the press that “[t]his judge is a very partisan judge with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside him, perhaps even more partisan than he is.” See Ex. H, Oct. 26 Order at 1. That Mr. Trump’s statement omits the principal law clerk’s name does not mean that he was referring to someone other than the court’s staff. As the court reasonably concluded, Mr. Trump’s statement “[q]uite clearly” referred to the judge’s principal law clerk “who sits alongside me on the bench.” Id.

52. Contrary to petitioners’ arguments (Pet. ¶¶ 195, 205, 211-214), the constitutionality of the October 3 order is not altered by Mr. Trump’s personal choice to run for President of the United States. Petitioners assert that the October 3 order prevents Mr. Trump from engaging in “core political speech” (Pet. ¶¶ 209, 214), but it does no such thing. As already noted, the October 3 order does not prevent Mr. Trump from offering his opinion on the case, the judge, the Attorney General, or even the witnesses—and he has done so frequently. Because the October 3 order does not violate Mr. Trump’s right to free speech, petitioners also cannot rely on (Pet. ¶ 211) a purported right of the public to “hear, respond to, and amplify” Mr. Trump’s speech. See In re Dow Jones, 842 F.2d at 608 (explaining that the public’s “right to receive speech does not enlarge the rights of those directly subject to [a] restraining order”).

Librarian's Comment: The principal urged by Trump's lawyers is that the measure of a litigant's popularity as a political candidate should factor into the judicial analysis of the appropriate scope of an order governing his speech. Trump's argument is that he is entitled to special extra-super powerful First Amendment privileges because he is the leading candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, which is typically Trumpian and unworkable as a legal standard. How popular do you have to be before the Judge puts his thumb on the scale for your benefit? Which polls does the Judge regard as authoritative in determining whether a candidate is entitled to get special First Amendment treatment because of his front-runner status? Indeed, the idea is frankly idiotic, and would simply legitimize demagoguery as a factor in judicial analysis, which is exactly what judicial analysis is intended to eliminate -- mere rule by the majority.


b. The November 3 Order is appropriately tailored to protect the orderly administration of the trial proceedings from disruptive and unprofessional conduct of petitioners’ attorneys.

53. The Court should also deny a stay of Supreme Court’s November 3 order, which properly prohibited counsel for all parties from “making any public statements, in or out of court, that refer to any confidential communications, in any form, between” the court’s staff and the court. See Ex. J, Nov. 3 Order at 3.

54. As it applies to statements or arguments made by counsel in the courtroom during the trial, the November 3 order was well within Supreme Court’s broad discretion to “regulate the conduct of the trial in order to achieve a speedy and unprejudiced disposition of the matters at issue in a setting of proper decorum.” C.P.L.R. 4011. The court has “broad authority to control the courtroom, rule on the admission of evidence, elicit and clarify testimony, expedite the proceedings and to admonish counsel and witnesses when necessary.” Pramer, 123 A.D.3d at 474 (quotation marks omitted). Here, as the court explained, it imposed the November 3 order only after petitioners’ counsel made “inappropriate remarks about [the court’s] Principal Law Clerk, falsely accusing her of bias against them and of improperly influencing the ongoing bench trial.” Ex. J. Nov. 3 Order at 3. For example, the attorneys argued that it was improper for the principal law clerk to sit next to or confer with the judge during the trial, particularly by passing the judge notes. See, e.g., Oct. 25 Tr. at 2308, 2416, 2419-20; id., Oct. 26 Tr. at 2470-71; id., Oct. 31 Tr. at 1911; id., Nov. 1 Tr. at 3061; id., Nov. 2 Tr. at 3396, 3398-99, 3404. Supreme Court repeatedly rejected these arguments, explaining that the well-established and lawful role of a law clerk is to assist and provide advice to the court. See id., Nov. 2 Tr. at 3411. Yet petitioners’ counsel would not refrain from repeating the same arguments in a vexatious and highly unprofessional manner. See, e.g., id., Oct. 25 Tr. at 2421; id., Nov. 2 Tr. at 3400-01.

55. Given these circumstances, Supreme Court properly prohibited petitioners’ counsel from continuously reraising previously rejected arguments about the principal law clerk. See Ultracashmere House. v. Kenston Warehousing Corp., 166 A.D.2d 386, 387 (1st Dep’t 1990) (holding that courts have authority to limit vexatious litigation); see also Gentile, 501 U.S. at 1071 (“An attorney may not, by speech or other conduct, resist a ruling of the trial court beyond the point necessary to preserve a claim for appeal.”). “[W]hen viewed in their proper context,” the court’s actions “reveal nothing more than an evenhanded attempt ‘towards focusing the proceedings on the relevant issues and clarifying facts material to the case in order to expedite the trial.’” Solomon v. Meyer, 149 A.D.3d 1320, 1321 (3d Dep’t 2017) (quotation marks omitted).

56. Contrary to petitioners’ arguments (Pet. ¶¶ 242-50), the November 3 order’s application to in-court statements does not violate their counsel’s right to free speech. An attorney’s right to free speech in the courtroom is “extremely circumscribed,” Gentile, 501 U.S. at 1071, and essentially nonexistent as it pertains to legal arguments, see Mezibov, 411 F.3d at 719 (“[M]yriad procedural and evidentiary rules, along with a liberal allowance for judicial discretion, operate to severely limit what an attorney can say in the courtroom.”). Indeed, petitioners do not cite a single case applying the First Amendment to restrictions placed on an attorney’s in-court statements or arguments. In any event, even if the counsel’s in-court conduct implicates a right to free speech, the November 3 order does not violate it. The order does not prevent counsel from raising other objections, presenting their defenses, or calling or cross-examining witnesses. Instead, the order only prohibits counsel from raising arguments concerning a single topic—communications between the court and its staff—and Supreme Court imposed the order only because counsel would not refrain from reraising the argument after the court had rejected it. The right to free speech does not give attorneys the ability to repeatedly raise arguments that have already been rejected and have become vexatious and unprofessional. See Gentile, 501 U.S. at 1071; Mezibov, 411 F.3d at 719; see also KPNX Broadcasting, 459 U.S. at 1306 (“I do not have the slightest doubt that a trial judge may insist that the only performance which goes on in the courtroom is the trial of the case at hand.”).

57. Petitioners’ other arguments concerning the November 3 order’s application to in-court statements are also meritless. The November 3 order does not “contravene[] the principles of absolute privilege” (see Pet. ¶ 238), which are inapposite. Absolute privilege is a doctrine that protects attorneys from liability for defamation for statements made during court proceedings. See Front, Inc. v. Khalil, 24 N.Y.3d 713, 718 (2015). It does not limit the broad authority the trial court itself to control its own courtroom or to regulate the conduct of attorneys practicing before it. See C.P.L.R. 4011; Pramer, 123 A.D.3d at 474.

58. The November 3 order also does not “prevent[] counsel from abiding by their ethical obligations to advocate for their clients” (see Pet. ¶ 240) or punish them for making a record (see Pet. ¶ 237). As Supreme Court explained, petitioners’ attorneys have not been prevented in any way from making a record regarding alleged bias or misconduct by the court or its staff—even though these arguments are unsubstantiated and plainly baseless. See Ex. J, Nov. 3 Order at 2 (explaining that “[d]efendants’ attorneys have had ample opportunity to make their record, and they have at length” and that “defendants’ record is now fully preserved for the duration of the proceedings”). Indeed, even after the November 3 order was issued, petitioners were able to file a proposed order to show cause for a mistrial motion that raised many of those same arguments.7 (See Nov. 15 Mot for Mistrial, Sup. Ct. NYSCEF Doc. No. 1634.) Counsel have now made their record—the November 3 order merely prevents them from repeating arguments that the court has already considered and rejected, an action well within its authority. See Pramer, 123 A.D.3d at 474.

59. To the extent the November 3 order applies to statements made by the parties’ counsel outside the courtroom, it does not violate their free-speech rights for essentially the same reasons that the October 3 order does not violate the parties’ free-speech rights (see supra ¶¶ 42- 52). Like the October 3 order, the November 3 order is extremely limited. The only thing that the order prohibits the attorneys from commenting on is the court’s communications with its staff— an exceedingly narrow topic that petitioners’ counsel has already discussed at length on the record. See Ex. J, Nov. 3 Order at 2. The order does not prevent counsel from publicly commenting on any other aspects of the proceedings. See id. In addition, as Supreme Court explained, the same concerns animating the imposition of the October 3 order—threats to and harassment of the court’s staff—also animate the November 3 order. Id. And the court reasonably concluded that the November 3 order was necessary in light of counsel’s failure to refrain from raising “repeated, inappropriate remarks about [his] Principal Law Clerk.” Id.; see Cooperman, 116 A.D.2d at 294.
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Re: Judge Engoron Imposes Gag Order After Trump Attacks Cler

Postby admin » Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:04 am

Part 2 of 2

2. Equitable considerations preclude a stay.

60. For similar reasons, the balance of the equities and the public interest tilt sharply against a stay. As an initial matter, petitioners have not identified any urgency requiring the extraordinary relief of a stay. To the contrary, they waited weeks to appeal these orders—the first order was issued on October 3 and the second one on November 3. Petitioners inordinate delay in seeking relief itself warrants denying their request.

61. In addition, as noted, in this high-profile trial, Supreme Court has been flooded with “hundreds of harassing and threat[en]ing phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters, and packages.” Ex. J, Nov. 3 Order at 2. There is a paramount interest in protecting the court’s staff, and the functioning of the State’s judiciary, especially in the “overheated” environment in which the trial is taking place. Ex. G, Oct. 20 Order at 1-2; Ex. F, Oct. 25 Tr. at 2372-73. Indeed, any actualized threat against the court’s staff would have dangerous ramifications for others—it would endanger security personnel charged with protecting the court and counsel, the news media, and the public, all of whom are present in the courtroom.

62. Notably, petitioners’ free-speech interests here, if any, are vanishingly slim. As explained, litigants and their attorneys do not have any unfettered right to attack the integrity of trial participants during an ongoing trial. And the exceedingly narrow scope of the October 3 and November 3 orders means that, at most, those orders have only “some minimal effect” on petitioners’ speech rights. City of Erie v. Pap’s A.M., 529 U.S. 277, 294 (2000). Indeed, petitioners may comment about Supreme Court, the judge, witnesses, or the substance of the proceedings. As the court made clear, “You can attack me, you can do whatever you want,” so long as the court’s staff are not discussed. Ex. F, Nov. 6 Tr. at 3484.

63. Petitioners argue (Pet. ¶¶ 6, 18, 109-14) that they have a continued interest in commenting about the principal law clerk to preserve the appellate record, but that argument is a red herring. As Supreme Court made clear, petitioners’ counsel “have had ample opportunity to make their record, and they have at length.” Ex. J, Nov. 3 Order at 2. Indeed, the court ruled affirmatively that their “record is now fully preserved for the duration of the proceeding” and for purposes of any appeal. Id. Petitioners have even filed a mistrial motion premised largely on their rehashed arguments about the principal law clerk, and the court issued a decision declining an order to show cause on that motion and explaining why it was meritless, without invoking the limitations of the October 3 and November 3 orders. See Ex. 3, Nov. 17 Declined Order to Show Cause. Neither petitioners nor their counsel have any cognizable interest in repeating vexatious statements and arguments that have already been considered and rejected.

C. The Court Should Deny Petitioners’ Request to Stay the October 20 and 26 Orders Sanctioning Mr. Trump.

1. Petitioners’ request to stay the sanctions orders is moot.


64. As an initial matter, petitioners’ stay request as to the October 20 and 26 orders should be denied as moot because Mr. Trump has already paid the monetary sanctions required by each order. See Ex. I, Letter from Alina Habba. A stay of those sanction orders would not provide Mr. Trump (or any of the other petitioners) with any effective relief because Mr. Trump has already complied with these orders and there is therefore nothing left to stay. Petitioners request a stay of Supreme Court’s “findings” (Pet. at 57), but a stay is appropriate only to prevent “the enforcement of any determination under review” or “further proceedings,” C.P.L.R. 7805 (emphasis added). This Court does not sit in an advisory capacity, and should not issue a stay order that is purely academic and has no effect. See Matter of Bernstein Family Ltd. Partnership v. Sovereign Partners, L.P., 66 A.D.3d 1, 4 (1st Dep’t 2009).

2. Equitable considerations preclude a stay.

65. The balance of the equities and public interest weigh dispositively against a stay of the two orders imposing monetary sanctions on Mr. Trump. Petitioners cannot show that they will suffer any irreparable harm without a stay of the sanction orders—a “sine qua non” for this relief. See DeLury, 48 A.D.2d at 405. Except for Mr. Trump, none of the petitioners was subject to the sanctions orders. They thus have not and will not suffer any harm from those orders. Nor do they have standing to assert harm on Mr. Trump’s behalf.

66. Nor has Mr. Trump himself shown that he will suffer irreparable harm without a stay. Merely having to pay money is not an irreparable injury. Matter of J.O.M. Corp. v. Department of Health of State of N.Y., 173 A.D.2d 153, 154 (1st Dep’t 1991); see, e.g., Wall St. Garage Parking Corp. v. New York Stock Exch., Inc., 10 A.D.3d 223, 228-29 (1st Dep’t 2004). Here, if petitioners ultimately prevail on their petition, the money can be returned to Mr. Trump. While Mr. Trump characterizes the $5,000 and $10,000 sanctions as “punitive” (Pet. ¶ 21), he does not claim an inability to pay the fine. Nor could he plausibly do so, when he has already paid the sanctions and when he is an avowed billionaire.

67. Moreover, the public interest warrants denying the stay and instead maintaining the status quo during the adjudication of the underlying petition. To the extent that petitioners think that a stay could result in a temporary return of the monetary payments from the New York Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection—which reimburses clients who lost money because of a lawyer’s dishonest conduct—to Mr. Trump, such a result is plainly not in the public interest. And a stay would improperly incentivize litigants or their counsel to not only engage in the type of inappropriate and harassing conduct at issue here, but also to engage in emergency stay practice in this Court merely to avoid paying sanctions during the short time required for the Court to adjudicate a matter on the merits.

3. There is no likelihood of success on the merits.

68. A stay is also unwarranted because petitioners are exceedingly unlikely to succeed on the merits of their challenge to the sanctions orders.

69. First, petitioners’ arguments are based on the standards for imposing summary civil or criminal contempt (see Pet. ¶¶ 130-46), but Supreme Court did not hold Mr. Trump in contempt. Rather, the court appears to have imposed monetary sanctions under § 130-1.1 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts and the court’s inherent authority. See Jones v. Camar Realty Corp., 167 A.D.2d 285, 286-87 (1st Dep’t 1990). In each sanctions order, the court stated that it was imposing a monetary sanction or fine on Mr. Trump; it did not say that it was holding Mr. Trump in contempt of court. See Ex. G, Oct. 20 Order at 2; Ex. H, Oct. 26 Order at 1 (describing October 20 order as imposing “nominal sanction”); id. at 2 (imposing “fine of $10,000” for second violation). Indeed, the court contrasted its imposition of monetary sanctions with contempt, explaining that further violations of the October 3 order might subject Mr. Trump to contempt of court. See Ex. G, Oct. 20 Order at 2.

70. Supreme Court acted well within its broad discretion in imposing monetary sanctions for Mr. Trump’s misconduct. Under § 130-1.1, the court has broad discretion to impose “financial sanctions against either an attorney or a party” in any civil action or proceeding, id. § 130-1.1(b), for engaging in “frivolous conduct,” id. § 130-1.1(a). Frivolous conduct is defined to include, inter alia, conduct undertaken primarily “to harass or maliciously injure another.” Id. § 130-1.1(c)(2); see Jones, 167 A.D.2d at 286. In determining whether conduct was frivolous, a court considers, among other issues, the circumstances under which the conduct took place, including “whether or not the conduct was continued when its lack of legal or factual basis was apparent, should have been apparent, or was brought to the attention of counsel or the party.” Rules of the Chief Administrator § 130-1.1(c). Courts may impose sanctions under § 130-1.1 either upon a motion or “upon the court’s own initiative, after a reasonable opportunity to be heard.” Id. § 130- 1.1(d). The form of the opportunity to be heard “shall depend upon the nature of the conduct and the circumstances of the case.” Id. The court may impose sanctions up to the amount of $10,000 for any single occurrence of frivolous conduct. Id. § 130-1.2.

71. Courts have repeatedly determined that litigants or counsel who made harassing, inappropriate, or abusive statements have engaged in frivolous conduct warranting sanctions under § 130-1.1. As this Court has explained, “sanctions and costs have been imposed for insulting behavior to opposing counsel, baseless ad hominem attacks against the court and opposing party, and mischaracterization of the record.” Matter of Kover¸134 A.D.3d 64, 74 (1st Dep’t 2015). For example, the Court of Claims imposed sanctions on a litigant who sent a letter impugning the integrity of court staff and opposing counsel by claiming, among other things, that the court’s chief clerk had refused to provide claimant’s motions to the judge; that the court stenographer had threatened claimant; and that an OAG attorney had offered to have sex with claimant. See Faison v. State of New York, 176 Misc. 2d 808, 809 (Ct. Claims 1998). The court explained that such statements were sanctionable because they constituted “a groundless attack on the motives of the Chief Clerk” and were “plainly intended to harass and demean” opposing counsel. Id. at 810.

72. Similarly, this Court and others have sanctioned litigants or attorneys for pursuing disrespectful ad hominem attacks against the integrity or independence of judges or the court. See, e.g., Nachbaur v. American Tr. Ins. Co., 300 A.D.2d 74, 75 (1st Dep’t 2002) (sanctions for “baseless, serious accusations against the motion court”); Jones, 167 A.D.2d at 286-87 (sanctions for ad hominem attacks on judges, including claiming they had never read the appeal papers or were illegally appointed). And courts have sanctioned litigants for sending harassing and threatening communications to opposing counsel, see Jermosen v. State, 178 A.D.2d 810, 811 (3d Dep’t 1991), or using disparaging terms or gestures during a deposition, see Principe v. Assay Partners, 154 Misc. 2d 702, 704 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County 1992) (referring to counsel as “little lady” or “young girl”).

73. Moreover, to ensure their proper functioning, courts “are universally acknowledged to be vested, by their very creation, with power to impose silence, respect, and decorum in their presence, and submission to their lawful mandates, and, as a corollary to this proposition, to preserve themselves and their officers from the approach and insults of pollution.” CDR Créances S.A.S. v. Cohen, 23 N.Y.3d 307, 318 (2014) (quoting Anderson v. Dunn, 19 U.S. 204, 227 (1821)). This “inherent authority,” which has been recognized in New York for over a century, incudes “all powers reasonably required to enable a court to perform efficiently its judicial functions, to protect its dignity, independence and integrity, and to make its lawful actions effective.” Matter of Diane D., 161 Misc. 2d 861 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County 1994) (quotation marks omitted); see Jones, 167 A.D.2d at 287. Thus, while courts may not craft their own sanctions to address a systemic problem that requires a plenary rule, they have inherent authority to impose sanctions when needed to control its order of business. Matter of Diane D., 161 Misc. 2d at 863-64; see Matter of A.G. Ship Maintenance Corp. v. Lezak, 69 N.Y.2d 1, 5-6 (1986) (concluding that systemic problem of frivolous filings required plenary sanctions rule, while acknowledging that “some matters . . . deal with the inherent nature of the judicial function”).

74. Here, Mr. Trump’s inappropriate targeting of Supreme Court’s principal law clerk, using demeaning language and baselessly impugning her integrity, easily qualifies as sanctionable conduct under § 130-1.1 or the court’s inherent authority. Mr. Trump used disparaging and highly inappropriate language in his first social-media post, which personally identified the clerk, falsely claimed that she was “Schumer’s girlfriend,” and stated that it was “disgraceful” that she was purportedly “running the case against me.” Ex. 1, Truth Social Posts at 1. These offensive remarks were plainly aimed at harassing and maligning the clerk, whether they “sprang from a misogynous or other maladapted point of view,” such as a tactic to make the principal law clerk uncomfortable or to anger the court. See Principe, 154 Misc. 2d at 708. Indeed, the subsequent unprofessional and vexatious conduct of petitioners’ counsel, including continuing to comment about the principal law clerk throughout the trial and then filing a frivolous mistrial motion based nearly entirely on baseless claims about the principal law clerk, makes plain that petitioners—and, even more shockingly, their counsel—are harassing her as part of an improper tactic to disrupt trial and undermine the proceedings.

75. The surrounding circumstances further supported the imposition of sanctions. The offensive targeting of the court’s staff member was not an isolated incident. The disparaging post was emailed to millions of recipients. On the same day, Mr. Trump again harassed and demeaned the court’s principal law clerk by stating to the media that “[t]he only one who hates Trump more is his associate up there, this person that works with him, and she’s screaming into his ear on almost every time we ask a question. It’s a disgrace.” See supra ¶ 9. And Mr. Trump’s lawyers, who have ethical and professional obligations to the court, had already by that point begun making inappropriate comments about the court’s clerk—and continued doing so. See, e.g., Ex. F, Oct. 25 Tr. at 2308, 2416, 2419-20; id., Oct. 26 Tr. at 2470-71; id., Oct. 31 Tr. at 2911; id., Nov. 1 Tr. at 3061; id., Nov. 2 Tr. at 3396, 3398-99, 3404. Moreover, Supreme Court imposed sanctions only after Mr. Trump disregarded warnings to stop the insulting and baseless targeting of the court’s staff.

76. There is no merit to Mr. Trump’s contention (see Pet. ¶ 12) that his reference to the person “sitting alongside” the judge was describing a witness rather than the principal law clerk. Supreme Court conducted a hearing and found Mr. Trump’s testimony on this score to be not credible—a factual finding that should be accorded deference. In any event, petitioners’ contention is implausible. The witness box is not located alongside where the judge sits but rather separated from where the judge sits. See Ex. H, Oct. 26 Order at 2. And most glaringly, one of petitioners’ own oft-repeated complaints, including in their petition here, is that the principal law clerk sits alongside the judge. See Pet. ¶ 11; e.g., Ex. F, Oct. 25 Tr. at 2308, 2416, 2419-20; id., Oct. 26 Tr. at 2470-71; id., Nov. 2 Tr. at 3398-99.

77. Contrary to Mr. Trump’s contentions (Pet. ¶¶ 155, 166), he received sufficient due process before sanctions were imposed. Section 130-1.1 authorizes the court to impose sanctions on its own initiative, after an opportunity to be heard that is reasonable under the circumstances— which Mr. Trump plainly received. See Rules of the Chief Administrator § 130-1.1(d); Matter of Gordon v. Marrone, 202 A.D.2d 104, 110 (2d Dep’t 1994). For example, before issuing the October 20 order, the court informed petitioners’ counsel that they should be prepared to address the offensive post that had remained on Mr. Trump’s campaign website, provided counsel with an opportunity to consult Mr. Trump, and allowed them to present their arguments about the issue on the record. There was no need for any further hearing or evidence (see Pet. ¶¶ 152, 164) because there was no dispute that Mr. Trump was ultimately responsible for the initial post or that it had remained on his own website for 17 days after the October 3 order. See Matter of Gordon, 202 A.D.2d at 111 (evidentiary hearing unnecessary prior to imposing sanctions when “pertinent material facts were not disputed”). And Mr. Trump similarly received ample opportunity to be heard before the October 26 sanctions order issued. For example, the court gave Mr. Trump time to confer with his counsel, allowed Mr. Trump’s counsel to present his argument on the record, and held a brief hearing at which Mr. Trump testified. See Ex. F, Oct. 25 Tr. at 2374, 2415-23. Mr. Trump thus had a reasonable opportunity to respond, and the court was entitled to find Mr. Trump’s response not credible.

78. Second, and in any event, the sanctions orders are also proper under Supreme Court’s authority to find litigants in civil contempt. Under the Judiciary Law, a litigant’s disobedience of the court’s lawful orders may constitute civil contempt. See Judiciary Law §753(A)(3) (civil contempt). Although petitioners’ focus almost exclusively on these and related statutory contempt provisions, they fail to recognize the full scope of the court’s authority. For civil contempt, courts also retain an “inherent authority to impose remedial fines for failure to obey their orders.” Baralan Intl. v. Avant Indus., 242 A.D.2d 226, 227 (1st Dep’t 1997); see Judiciary Law § 753(A)(8); People ex rel. Munsell v. Court of Oyer & Terminer of N.Y., 101 N.Y. 245, 249 (1886). This Court has indeed emphasized, as to civil contempt, that a “financial sanction to compel compliance [can be] a proper exercise of the court’s discretionary power.” Matter of People v. Trump, 213 A.D.3d 503, 504 (1st Dep’t 2023). This inherent civil-contempt authority to sanction disobedience of its judgments “is not exhausted until the purpose for which the judgment was rendered has been completely attained.” De Lancey v. Piepgras, 141 N.Y. 88, 96-97 (1894).

79. Here, Mr. Trump twice violated Supreme Court’s October 3 order. There is no dispute that the October 3 order expressed a clear and unequivocable mandate prohibiting further statements about the principal law clerk and that Mr. Trump knew about the October 3 order. See El-Dehdan v. El-Dehdan, 26 N.Y.3d 19, 29 (2015). And the court properly concluded that it appeared “with reasonable certainty, that the order ha[d] been disobeyed.” See id. (quotation marks omitted). Contrary to Mr. Trump’s contention that the sanctions were purely “punitive” and had to comply with the statutory procedures for criminal contempt (Pet. ¶ 21), the court issued the sanctions for the civil remedial purpose of trying to obtain Mr. Trump’s compliance with the October 3 order for the remainder of the trial, and thereby to protect the safety of the court’s staff and to prevent disruption to the orderly administration of the proceedings, which would prejudice OAG’s ability to proceed with their case. See Ex. G, Oct. 20 Order at 2; Ex. H, Oct. 26 Order at 1.

80. Finally, Mr. Trump’s arguments about any summary contempt findings is misplaced because, as explained, he received ample notice and opportunity to defend himself— including the ability to testify about the comment that resulted in the October 26 sanctions order. And the judge was not disqualified from ruling on the misconduct, as Mr. Trump’s comments involved the court’s staff rather than “disrespect to or vituperative criticism of the judge.” See Rules of App. Div., 1st Dept. (22 N.Y.C.R.R.) § 604.2(d)(1). Indeed, the October 3 order does not preclude Mr. Trump from speaking about the judge or Supreme Court.

WHEREFORE, this Court should deny petitioners’ motion to stay four orders of Supreme Court, dated October 3, 20, and 26, and November 3, 2023, while the Court resolves their article 78 petition.

Dated: New York, New York
November 22, 2023

By: ___________
Dennis Fan
Senior Assistant Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
28 Liberty Street
New York, New York 10005
dennis.fan@ag.ny.gov
(212) 416-8921

***

EXHIBIT 1

Petitioner Donald J. Trump’s Truth Social Posts
October 3, 2023:

Image
Truth Details
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
Schumer's girlfriend, Alison R. Greenfield, is running this case against me. How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!! instagram.com/greenfield4civil...
Judicial Protest
@JudicialProtest
Why is Judge Engoron's Principal Law Clerk, Allison R. Greenfield, palling around with Chuck Schumer?


November 16, 2023:

Image
Truth Details
2.4k Replies
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
Judge Arthur Engoron has just been overturned (stayed!) by the New York State Appellate Division (Appeals Court), for the 4th TIME (on the same case!). His Ridiculous and Unconstitutional Gag Order, not allowing me to defend myself against him and his politically biased and out of control, Trump Hating Clerk, who is sinking him and his Court to new levels of LOW, is a disgrace. They are defending the Worst and Least Respected Attorney General in the United States, Letitia James, who is a Worldwide disgrace, as is her illegal Witch Hunt against me. The Radical and Unprecedented actions of Judge Engoron will keep BUSINESSES and JOBS forever out of New York State. I have done NOTHING WRONG, my numbers were low, not high, I have a COMPLETE DISCLAIMER CLAUSE, their Star Witness admitted he lied and made up this Fake case against me, and the the Attorney General used a "Get Trump" platform in order to run for A.G. & Governor (she failed!) . This wicked attack on Democracy must be ended, NOW!
8.06k ReTruths 26.1k Likes 11/16/23, 6:44 PM


November 18, 2023:
Image
Truth Details
886 Replies
"Engoron's 'Co-Judge' Law Clerk, Allison Greenfield, Attended Anti-Trump Events Endorsing Biden & Tish James, Spurred on By Impeachment Leader Dan Goldman." thenationalpulse.com/ 2023/11/1 ...

The National Pulse+
Engoron's 'Co-Judge' Law Clerk, Allison Greenfield, Attended Anti-Trump Events
Allison Greenfield, law clerk to Judge Arthur Engoron, has been recently involved w ith leading anti-Trump organizations in New York City, and has even 2.56k ReTruths 5.81k Likes 11/18/23, 12:20 PM


Image
Truth Details
628 Replies
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
The Judge committed FRAUD in my Trial by valuing my assets at a tiny fraction of what they are really worth in order to make his FAKE CASE against me - And everyone, including his crooked and highly partisan Law Clerk, Allison Greenfield, and Racist A.G. Letitia James, knows it. The Judicial System in New York State is in chaos and disrepute over this horribly handled Persecution of a Political Opponent. The World is watching this illegal Witch Hunt. Engoron, James, and Greenfield should be sanctioned and prosecuted over this complete and very obvious MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE!!!
2.73k ReTruths 8.62k Likes 11/18/23, 2:45 PM


November 21, 2023

Image
Truth Details
841 Replies
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
A Rigged Trial going on against me by a corrupt N.Y. State Attorney General and an out of control Judge. They brought Values down to a FRACTION of what they are really worth, like Mar-a-Lago, and then called me a Fraud. They are the FRAUDSTERS, and the whole system is CORRUPT. I didn't even include one of my most valuable assets, BRAND VALUE, in my Financial Statements. Also, this Psycho Judge refuses to acknowledge the fact that I have a 100% Disclaimer Clause on the First Page of my Statements - "DO YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE." But it all doesn't matter, because regardless of what we say to show our TOTAL INNOCENCE, and it has been proven in many ways, and many times over, this political, Trump Hating Judge, together with his horrendous, seething with ANGER Law Clerk, with her illegal campaign contributions, will find me guilty as hell. NO JURY ALLOWED, A STATUTE NEVER USED FOR THIS BEFORE, A RIGGED TRIAL, A RACIST & CORRUPT ATTORNEY GENERAL, A TRUMP HATING JUDGE, ELECTION INTERFERENCE!
2.54k ReTruths 8.38k Likes 11/21/23, 6:37 PM


***

EXHIBIT 2

FILED: NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 10/26/2023 03:34 PM INDEX NO. 452564/2022
NYSCEF DOC. NO. 1619 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 10/26/2023
In The Matter Of:
People of the State of New York v.
Donald J. Trump, et al - CORRECTED
October 3, 2023

So Ordered
AE 10/26/2023
HON. ARTHUR F. ENGORON J.S.C.
OCT 26 2023
Original File People v. Trump 10-3-2023 - CORRECTED.txt
FILED: NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 10/26/2023 03:34 PM INDEX NO. 452564/2022
NYSCEF DOC. NO. 1619 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 10/26/2023
People of the State of New York v.
Donald J. Trump, et al - CORRECTED October 3, 2023

D. Bender - Direct by Mr. Wallace Page 267
1 through the document, please.
2 Mr. Bender, do you recognize this document?
3 A The document --
4 Q What's that?
5 A Repeat the question, please?
6 Q Do you recognize this document?
7 A Yes, I do.
8 Q What is this document?
9 A This is the representation letter for the DJT -- the
10 compilation of the personal financial statement of Donald J.
11 Trump, as of June 30, 2020.
12 MR. WALLA CE: If we could go to the bottom of
13 this document.
14 Q Do you recognize the signature on the left hand side
15 of the screen?
16 A Yes, I do.
17 Q Whose signature is that?
18 A It's Allen Weisselberg.
19 Q And in what capacity is Mr. Weisselberg signing this
20 document?
21 A Chief Financial Officer and Trustee of the Donald J.
22 Trump Revocable Trust.
23 Q And do you recognize the signature on the right hand
24 side?
25 A Yes, I do.

D. Bender - Direct by Mr. Wallace Page 268
1 Q Whose signature is that?
2 A That's Donald J. Trump, Junior's signature.
3 Q And in what capacity is he signing this document?
4 A Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization,
5 and Trustee of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust.
6 MR. WALLA CE: Your Honor, we would ask that this
7 document be entered into evidence?
8 THE COURT: Granted. It's in evidence.
9 (Whereupon, Plaintiffs Exhibit 855 was received
10 in evidence.)
11 Q And Mr. Bender, would Mazars have issued the 2020
12 Statement of Financial Condition if Mr. Weisselberg and
13 Mr. Trump did not offer these representations?
14 A No, we would not have.
15 Q Would Mazars have issued the 2020 Statement of
16 Financial Condition if it knew that any representations
17 contained in this letter were false?
18 A No, we would not have.
19 Q Mr. Bender, did you work on Statements of Financial
20 Condition for Mr. Trump in any later years?
21 A No, we did not.
22 Q Why not?
23 A Mazars disengaged from the Trump Organization.
24 Q And did you have any involvement in the decision to
25 disengage from the Trump engagement?

D. Bender - Direct by Mr. Wallace Page 269
 1 A No, I did not.
2 Q After the time that you disengaged from the Trump
3 engagement, did you have any personal contact with Donald J.
4 Trump?
5 A No, I did not.
6 Q Before seeing him in the courtroom the last two days,
7 when was the last time you saw Donald J. Trump in person?
8 A It was before Covid. It was December, 2019.
9 Q And do you remember in what context that was?
10 A Yes. Ms. Trump had invited by son to a
11 Christmas party for children, to make ornaments, and I had to
12 get some papers signed by Mr. and Ms. Trump.
13 Q Since that meeting, did you have any conversations
14 with Mr. Trump?
15 A No, I have not.
16 Q Did you have any conversations with Mr. Trump about
17 the decision by Mazars to end the engagement with the Trump
18 Organization?
19 A No, I did not.
20 Q Did you have any in-person meetings with Mr. Trump
21 about the decision by Mazars to end to the relationship with the
22 Trump Organization?
23 A No, I did not.
24 MR. WALLACE: Your Honor, we reserve our right to
25 re-direct; or cross, if they go beyond the scope of his

D. Bender - Direct by Mr. Wallace Page 270
1 testimony. We have no more questions at this time, of
2 Mr. Bender.
3 THE COURT: Mr. Kise, do you want five minutes to
4 cross exam?
5 MR. KISE: Do we want to -- just, probably better
6 to just take our break.
7 THE COURT: I thought you would say that. Give
8 me one second.
9 (Whereupon, there was a pause in the
10 proceedings.)
11 THE COURT: Okay. We are going to resume at
12 2:15. Have a good lunch, everybody.
13 (Whereupon, a recess was taken.)
14 * * * * * *
15 THE COURT: Welcome back, everyone.
16 This morning, one of the defendants posted, to a
17 social media account, a disparaging, untrue and personally
18 identifying post about a member of my staff. Although I
19 have since order the post deleted, and apparently it was,
20 it was also emailed out to millions of other recipients.
21 Personal attacks on members of my court staff are
22 unacceptable, inappropriate, and I will not tolerate them,
23 under any circumstances. Yesterday, off the record, I
24 warned counsel of this, and this was disregarded. My
25 warning was disregarded.

Proceedings Page 271
1 Consider this statement a gag order forbidding
2 all parties from posting, emailing, or speaking publicly
3 about any members of my staff. Any failure to abide by
4 this directive will result in serious sanctions. I hope
5 I've been very clear.
6 Okay. Let's get Mr. Bender back.
7 MR. KISE: While we're waiting, Judge, I'll just
8 observe, this will be better for me because I don't have to
9 stand up and object when there's a document, since it's
10 cross examination.
11 THE COURT: Are we up to cross?
12 MR. SUAREZ: Your Honor, I'll take the
13 opportunity to introduce myself My name is Jesus Suarez.
14 Thank you for admitting me, pro hac vice. I practice with
15 Mr. Kise, in Florida.
16 THE COURT: Of course. I remember the
17 application.
18 MR. SUAREZ: I don't speak as nicely as he does.
19 THE COURT: Well, almost nobody does, so --
20 MR. SUAREZ: Is my mike on? Now my mike is on.
21 THE COURT: Is he as good in the office as he is
22 in court?
23 MR. SUAREZ: He is certainly as charming in the
24 office as he is in court, but he almost never picks up
25 lunch. I don't know what that's about.

D. Bender - Cross by Mr. Suarez Page 272
1 That was a joke. Mr. Kise picks up lunch.
2 MR. KISE: You are forgetting all the dinners.
3 THE COURT: They don't laugh at mine, either, so.
4 (Whereupon, the witness resumed the witness
5 stand.)
6 THE COURT: I'll remind the witness, as usual,
7 that he is still under oath.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
9 THE COURT: Counsel, please proceed.
10 CROSS EXAMINATION
11 BY MR. BENDER:
12 Q Mr. Bender, good afternoon.
13 A Good afternoon.
14 Q We have met before?
15 A Good afternoon.
16 THE COURT: That's a question. Have you met
17 before?
18 Q We have met before. We met in April of 2023, when I
19 took your deposition on behalf of the defendants. Do you
20 recall, sir?
21 A Yes, sir.
22 Q Okay. Mr. Bender, you have been up here testifying
23 for the last day about the Statements of Financial Condition of
24 the 45th President of the United States. Is that correct?
25 A Yes, sir.

D. Bender - Cross by Mr. Suarez Page 273
1 Q And Mr. Bender, preparing the president's Statements
2 of Financial Condition, that was a big job; wasn't it,
3 Mr. Bender?
4 A It wasn't a big job. It was part of my normal
5 engagement.
6 Q Part of your normal engagement, I see. In 2011 alone,
7 the first Statement of Financial Condition that the Attorney
8 General had you talk about, the president had over $258 million
9 in cash, Mr. Bender. You don't think that's a significant
10 engagement?
11 A No, sir.
12 Q Okay. The president had a company with a brand value
13 of over $10-, maybe even $20 billion, Mr. Bender. That, for
14 you, wasn't a significant engagement?
15 A No, sir.
16 Q Okay. Now, is that because you were the in-house
17 accountant at the Trump Organization for over 30 years,
18 Mr. Bender?
19 A I wasn't the in-house accountant.
20 Q Okay. So who was?
21 A The in-house accountant?
22 Q Yes.
23 A Mr. McConney, Mr. Weisselberg. They were the in-house
24 accountants.
25 Q Mr. McConney. Mr. McConney worked with you at Spahr

D. Bender - Cross by Mr. Suarez Page 274
1 Lacher?
2 A Yes, he did.
3 Q May have been responsible for giving you the name Doc?
4 A He wasn't, but he kept it going.
5 Q Did they call you Doc because you were good at
6 documented transactions? That was the Doc?
7 A No.
8 Q It's a cute nickname.
9 Was Mr. Weisselberg an accountant?
10 A He was an accountant.
11 Q Mr. Weisselberg is a CPA?
12 A No. He is not a CPA.
13 Q Mr. McConney is a CPA?
14 A No. Mr. McConney is not a CPA.
15 Q Okay. So who was the in-house accountant at the Trump
16 Organization, Mr. Bender?
17 A Mr. Weisselberg, and his team.
18 Q All right. You did work for the Trump Organization
19 for over 35 years; did you not, Mr. Bender?
20 A Excuse me?
21 Q You did work for the president and his company, the
22 Trump Organization, for over 35 years?
23 A Approximately.
24 Q Approximately. In fact, you came to work with the
25 Trump Organization through a gentlemen named Mr. Mitnick; didn't

***

EXHIBIT 3

PRESENT: Engoron
J.S.C.

At I.A.S. Part 37 of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, held in and for the County of New York, at the Courthouse located at 60 Centre Street, New York, New York, on the 17 of November, 2023.

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
NEW YORK COUNTY

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, BY LETITIA JAMES, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK,

Plaintiff,

-v-

DONALD J. TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP JR., ERIC TRUMP, ALLEN WEISSELBERG, JEFFREY MCCONNEY, THE DONALD J. TRUMP REVOCABLE TRUST, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION INC. TRUMP ORGANIZATION LLC DJT HOLDINGS LLC, DJIT HOLDINGS MANAGING MEMBER, TRUMP ENDEAVOR 12 LLC, 401 NORTH WABASH VENTURE LLC, TRUMP OLD POST OFFICE LLC 40 WALL STREET LLC SEVEN SPRINGS LLC.,

Defendants.

INDEX NO. 452564/2022
Engoron, J.S.C.

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

UPON reading and filing the annexed Affirmation of Clifford Robert, dated November 15, 2023 and the exhibits annexed thereto; the Affirmation of David Demarest, dated November 14, 2023 and the exhibits annexed thereto, and the Memorandum of Law in Support of a Mistrial, dated November 15, 2023; and upon all the pleadings and proceedings heretofore had herein, and sufficient cause having been shown,

LET Plaintiff People of the State of New York by Letitia James, Attorney General of the State of New York, by her attorneys, show cause before this Court on IAS Part 37, Room 418 of Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, located at 60 Centre Street, New York, New York on the_ day of _ _ 2023, at __ o'clock, or as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard, why an order should not be made and entered:

(a) granting a mistrial pursuant to CPLR § 4402; and

(b) granting such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper. Sufficient cause therefore appearing, it is

ORDERED that opposition papers, if any, are to be served on Defendants' counsel via e-filing on or before the_ day of November 2023; and it is further

ORDERED that reply papers, if any, are to be served on Plaintiff's counsel via e-filing on or before the_ day of November 2023; and it is further

ORDERED that service of a copy of this Order to Show Cause and the papers upon which it is based upon Plaintiff be made on or before November _ , 2023, by e-filing same shall be deemed good and sufficient service thereof.

Decline to sign for the reasons stated in the order annexed hereto.

AE 11/17/2023
HON. ARTHUR F. ENGORON J.S.C. NOV 17 2023

***

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
NEW YORK COUNTY

PRESENT: HON. ARTHUR F. ENGORON

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, BY LETITIA JAMES, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK,

Plaintiff,

-v-

DONALD J. TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP JR., ERIC TRUMP, ALLEN WEISSELBERG, JEFFREY MCCONNEY, THE DONALD J. TRUMP REVOCABLE TRUST, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION INC. TRUMP ORGANIZATION LLC DJT HOLDINGS LLC, DJIT HOLDINGS MANAGING MEMBER, TRUMP ENDEAVOR 12 LLC, 401 NORTH WABASH VENTURE LLC, TRUMP OLD POST OFFICE LLC 40 WALL STREET LLC SEVEN SPRINGS LLC.,

Defendants.

PART: 37
INDEX NO. 452564/2022
MOTION DATE 11/15/2023
MOTION SEQ. NO. 036

ORDER DECLINING TO SIGN DEFENDANTS' PROPOSED ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

The following e-filed documents, listed by NYSCEF document number (Motion 036) 1633, 1634, 1635, 1636, 1637, 1638 were read on this application for MISTRIAL

This Court declines to sign defendants' proposed order to show cause seeking permission to move, pursuant to CPLR 4402, for a mistrial.

CPLR 4402 provides that "[a)t any time during the trial, the court, on motion of any party, may order a continuance or a new trial in the interest of justice on such terms as may be just."

Defendants' supporting papers argue a mistrial is necessary because, essentially, the Court has exhibited bias: (1) directly, as l publish a high school alumni newsletter with links to articles referencing this case; and (2) indirectly, through my Principal Law Clerk, Allison Greenfield, whom they allege has violated 22 NYCRR 100.5(C)(2) by exceeding the permissible amount of political donations in a calendar year.

As an initial matter, to the extent that defendants' arguments rely on alleged "facts" based on editorial opinions that denounce plaintiffs case (NYSCEF Doc. No. 1634 at 4-5), such opinions are irrelevant and of no evidentiary value.

Equally irrelevant is the "expert affirmation" of yet another retired judge, David Demarest, who states that he was "retained as an expert" by defendants' counsel to opine on the legal basis for a mistrial. (NYSCEF Doc. No. 1635). As I explained in my September 26, 2023 Decision and Order granting partial summary judgment, legal arguments are for counsel to make, and for judges to decide. Therefore, such expert affidavit is neither necessary not permitted. "The rule prohibiting experts from providing their legal opinions or conclusions is 'so well-established that it is often deemed a basic premise or assumption of evidence law-a kind of axiomatic principle."' In re Initial Pub. Offering Sec. Litig., 174 F Supp 2d 61, 64 (SD NY 2001) ( citing Thomas Baker, The Impropriety of Expert Witness Testimony on the Law, 40 U Kan LRev 325, 352 (1992) (precluding "expert affidavits" on the law); accord, Note, Expert Legal Testimony. 97 Harv LRev 797, 797 (1984) ("it remains black-letter law that expert legal testimony is not permissible"). This Court has already cautioned defendants' counsel against submitting "expert opinions" on purely legal issues. Moreover, as detailed herein, former Judge Demarest's "expert opinion" incorrectly summarizes the relevant law and fails to address all applicable governing ethical guidelines.

Defendants correctly assert that 22 NYCRR 100.5(C)(2) generally limits to $500 the political contributions that members of a judge's staff may make annually. However, defendants, and their "legal expert," fail to cite the applicable unambiguous ethical guidelines for candidates for judicial office, found in Judicial Ethics Opinion 98-19.1 Since 2020, my Principal Law Clerk has been pursuing elected judicial office, as the governing ethical guidelines for New York State law clerks expressly contemplate and permit. Id. Indeed, Judicial Ethics Opinion 98-1 9 clearly states: "the $500 limitation on political contributions does ' not apply to an appointee's contributions to his or her own campaign.' Nor would there be such a monetary restriction on the purchasing of tickets to political functions. "' Id.

When deducting the price of tickets to political functions that my Principal Law Clerk attended from all the contributions to which defendants cite, the remainder is still well below the ethical and legal permissible annual limit. Defendants further attempt to argue that since my Principal Law Clerk attended events sponsored by certain organizations, also legally and ethically permitted, each and every separate action and position by those organizations should be imputed to her, and by proxy, to me. Such arguments are nonsensical; and in any event, they are a red herring, as my Principal Law Clerk does not make rulings or issue orders - I do.

As I have explained on the record in open court, I have, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 100.3(B)(6)(6)(c) and Advisory Opinion 07-04,2 an absolute unfettered right to consult with my law clerks in any way, shape, or form I choose. 22 NYCRR 100.3(B)(6)(6)(c) ("A judge may consult with court personnel whose function is to aid the judge in carrying out the judge's adjudicative responsibilities or with other judges").

However, as I have made clear over the course of this trial, my rulings are mine, and mine alone. There is absolutely no "co-judging" at play. That I may consult on the trial record, the law, and the facts, before issuing any respective ruling is within my absolute discretion and is in no way evidence that the final decisions are anyone's but mine. Accordingly, there is no factual or legal basis for a mistrial based on these allegations against my Principal Law Clerk.

To the extent defendants argue that I have exhibited bias by stating in Court that "I'm not here to hear what [Donald Trump] has to say," such argument is disingenuous and made in bad faith, as defendants omitted what I said immediately after that sentence, which is "I'm here to hear him answer questions." NYSCEF Doc. No. 1637 at 3510. Indeed, those are precisely the roles of the witness and the finder of fact.

Defendants also take issue with my publishing my high school alumni association newsletter, alleging that it was inappropriate to include links to articles referencing this case, as it creates an appearance of impropriety.

In 2007, I co-founded The Wheatley School Alumni Association3 and began publishing the Association Newsletter. All issues are free of charge, reach approximately 4,700 email addresses, and contain no advertising. They contain news about the school, its faculty, and primarily, its graduates. When an online publication mentions a graduate, including myself, I include an excerpt and/or a link, usually both. Consequently, I have been the subject of entries concerning this case due to its undeniable newsworthiness.

In fact, because of my job, I have been the subject of a fair amount of news coverage over approximately the past decade. However, I neither wrote nor contributed to any of the articles on which defendants focus, and no reasonable reader could possibly think otherwise.

Many years ago, a legal ethics lecturer told a group of jurists, of which I was one, that "judges do not lose their individual identities or personalities just because they are judges." A significant part of my personality and identity is as a graduate of an institution that I admire, who has taken on the time-consuming but gratifying task of keeping its alumni connected and informed. None of this has anything to do with, much less does it interfere with, my presiding fairly, impartially, and professionally over the instant dispute, which I have now been doing for more than three years, and which I intend to do until its conclusion.

Plaintiff has advocated for a full briefing schedule, emphasizing that although it believes defendants' motion is without merit, it also believes briefing would economize the timing and effects of any appeal. However, in good conscience, I cannot sign a proposed order to show cause that is utterly without merit, and upon which subsequent briefing would therefore be futile.

The Court has considered defendants' remaining arguments, including, but not limited to defendants' assertions that the Court's evidentiary rulings are per se evidence of bias as they allege there are more rulings in favor of plaintiffs than defendants, and finds them to be similarly without merit and/or non-dispositive. I stand by each and every ruling, and they speak for themselves. Finally, as I have made abundantly clear, the basis for overruling objections to allegedly "time-barred evidence" is legally sound, as there is a statute of limitations on claims, not evidence.

Accordingly, this Court hereby declines to sign defendants' proposed order to show cause seeking permission to move, pursuant to CPLR 4402, for a mistrial.

NOV 17 2023 HON. ARTHUR F. ENGORON
A

DATE: 11/17/2023

_______________
ARTHUR F. ENGORON, J.S.C.

_______________

Notes:

1 Judicial Ethics Opinion 98-19, available at https://www.nycourts.gov/legacyhtm/ip/ judicialethics/opinions/98-19.htm.

2 "The relationship between a judge and his/her law clerk is one of particular trust and confidence. Although a judge and his/her law clerk are of course not 'partners,' the two engage in the kind of professional interchange that might be found between long-time colleagues in a law firm." Advisory Opinion 07-04, available at https://www.nycourts.gov/ipjudicialethi ... /07-04.htm.

3 The Wheatley School, founded in 1956, is an esteemed public school in Old Westbury, New York.
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"Stochastic Terrorism Does Not Exist"

Postby admin » Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:22 am



Trump's lawyers disavow threats against judge, clerk
by ABC News
Nov 27, 12:54 PM EST

Donald Trump's lawyers, in a court filing this morning, doubled down on their criticism of the trial's limited gag order while distancing Trump and his co-defendants from what they called the "vile and reprehensible" threats against Judge Arthur Engoron and his principal law clerk.

In a filing arguing against the limited gag order, defense lawyer Clifford Robert said that the attacks -- which he said Trump neither condoned nor directed -- do not justify the gag order's unconstitutional restraint on Trump's free speech.

"Respondents' sole cognizable justification for the Gag Orders is that an unknown third party may react in a hostile or offensive manner to Petitioners' speech,"
Robert wrote.

While Robert characterized the threats as "disturbing, derogatory, and indefensible," he argued that it could not be proven that Trump's Truth Social post on Oct. 3 -- which prompted the limited gag order prohibiting statements about the judge's staff -- led to an increase in threats. Trump and his lawyers have never called for violence, condoned the attacks, or encouraged threatening behavior, Robert said.

The threatening behavior "merits appropriate security measures," Robert wrote. "However, it does not justify the wholesale abrogation of Petitioners' First Amendment rights in a proceeding of immense stakes to Petitioners," which Robert argued has been "compromised by the introduction of partisan bias on the bench."
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Re: Judge Engoron Imposes Gag Order After Trump Attacks Cler

Postby admin » Tue Dec 05, 2023 1:32 am

STUNNED Trump makes DESPERATE Filing after GAG Reinstatement
by Michael Popok
MeidasTouch
Dec 4, 2023

Trump’s lawyers, cutting and pasting from their DC appeal filing, have filed an emergency petition to have NY’s highest appellate court remove the gag order to allow his lawyers and him to bash the judge’s imperiled law clerk some more. Michael Popok of Legal AF explains what goes wrong with the new filing and why it is likely to lose.



Transcript

Michael Popok, LegalAF. We got a new
attempted appeal by Donald Trump of the
gag order that's been reinstated in New
York against him just on the 30th of
November Donald Trump doesn't like it
and he's asking the first Department
appet division the appell at court that
sits over all Manhattan trial courts
like the one that's presiding over his
civil fraud case to allow him to take an
expedited appeal to the highest court in
New York which is the court of appeals
in New York and laying out in a petition
signed by uh Cliff Robert one of the
many lawyers for Donald Trump in the
Civil fraud case and arguing at its core
and I have a copy of the uh motion here
the petition here arguing at its core
that Donald Trump because he is a
candidate for president has a First
Amendment right that can be not uh
impinged it's an unfettered sacran right
sacran right ACC according to the papers
for Donald Trump to continue to bash the
principal law Clerk and staff that work
for judge and Goron it is just
mindboggling being a lawyer that
practices regularly in front of these
same courts including these same judges
and these same law clerks for you have
to be somebody like Chris kis who's not
from around here or Cliff Robert that
practices out in Long Island to be able
to bring this motion with a straight
face they say that basically Donald
Trump can do or say anything because
he's running for office he has a First
Amendment right to uphold the rights of
tens of millions of other people I guess
that's his social media feed population
I'm not sure what the 10 million people
represents um but he says Donald Trump
and 10 million people have the right to
hear Donald Trump what bash the
principal law clerk make um scarless
unfounded scandalous defamatory
statements about
her because they need to quote unquote
make a record let me explain all of
this the judge in New York is the trior
of fact because there's no jury which
means that judge with assistance of his
staff needs to be able to consolidate
reconcile and resolve th thousands of
pages of documents which we call
exhibits uh witnesses that have
testified 25 already for the New York
attorney general another dozen or so for
Donald Trump and all of their days and
days of testimony we're in week nine of
the trial that's that's not a job for
any person I mean he's wearing a black
robe he's not wearing a cape he's not a
superhero with superpowers he's a human
being and he takes notes and there's a
transcript and there's documents and
there is a principal law clerk assigned
to each judge who is a lawyer that
assists the judge just like a partner or
an associate in a law Law Firm assist me
when I'm trying a case they assist him
but they don't like that because they're
losing in the courtroom Donald Trump
wants to to get media attention every
day that's all that this is about and so
in his briefing he says he has the right
to make a record that the principal law
clerk is also running for judge and as a
Democrat okay first of all he's made
that a pellet record what he's referring
to there just to explain sort of a quick
briefing on a pellet practice is that if
things happen in a trial setting that
need to be appealed you need to preserve
the record meaning you need to make a
record literally with a court reporter
uh and you raise the issue and once you
raise the issue once and it's preserved
for appeal that's it you don't keep
raising it every day I mean if I try a
five or six or eight-week trial that
same issue that I've already preserved
on Appeal on the record may come up a
dozen more times but once the judge says
you've preserved that for appeal it's on
the record you're done you don't keep
making you don't keep bringing it up
every day today judge I want to rais
that same issue about the evidence that
you admitted yesterday into court we we
did that already the record is preserved
so for them to say at the core of their
filing we need to continue day by day to
point out that the principal law clerk
is assisting the judge which is not
controversial at all is allowed by the
rules and is her job that's why she's
getting paid by the state what do they
think the principal La here's a question
for Chris kis and Alina habba and Cliff
Robert what do you think the job of the
principal law clerk
is if you don't like her assisting the
judge if you don't like her passing
notes to the judge about testimony where
she may have spotted something in the
testimony that's
inconsistent with the testimony of a
current witness completely fair game and
a appropriate in fact if I were the
judge and my law clerk didn't do that
I'd fire her or him so I think that's a
good way for if it ever gets to the
court of appeals I think that's a great
way for the court of appeals to start
the argument with the lawyers for Donald
Trump which are just recycling the exact
same arguments same phrases same
sentences it's almost like AI except I
don't want to give them the credit for
intelligence that they use the DC court
of appeals that's currently considering
a gag order that judge chut imposed in
the criminal case in DC it's almost the
same brief just just a Redux version
right like a reader digest version and
so I would ask them if I were one of the
judges of the court of appeals I would
say explain to me what you think the
principal law clerk is supposed to do
and how this goes beyond the boundaries
of what she's supposed to do and then my
second question as Justice popac if I
ever got that opportunity would be
explain to me why the record hasn't
already been preserved on the issue and
why your client who's a participant in
the Civil fraud case as a defendant has
to take to the airwaves and social media
and in the courtroom every day in order
to bash this same law clerk even now
knowing that the law clerk has been
subject along with the judge to death
threats into the hundreds and thousands
because of the attacks by the former
president explain to me that so this
again again we always have to explain
for Donald Trump who's not a normal
litigant and I mean that on many many
levels why is he doing this it's not
working in the courtroom he is losing
the case in the courtroom we've been
following the case every day we've been
watching the evidence we know judge
andoran already found that the Trump
organization and all of its Executives
including Donald Trump has committed
persistent fraud and he's made that
decision as far back as a year ago when
he imposed a monitor a former judge to
monitor the day-to-day activities of the
Trump organization and Donald Trump so
we know he's losing in the courtroom and
nothing's getting better for him in the
defense so what's he left with attack
the New York attorney general Leticia
James and they actually had the brass
ones I'll leave it at that to accuse the
New York attorney general of
politicizing this case by having what
they call frequent press conferences
she's having frequent press conferences
Donald Trump every day he was at trial
at breaks and sometimes not even coming
back from the break on time pissing off
the clerks and the staff would go into
the hallway and hold Court no pun
intended with Fox News and other
right-wing magga media to give them you
know talking points every day the New
York attorney general was just
responding to that to give her version
every couple of days of how she saw the
trial going she was only doing that to
counter Donald Trump getting the last
word and an incorrect um incorrect word
an in a uh a wrong set of statements she
was trying to correct the record but so
she's politicizing it talk about
gaslighting all right so that's one two
the record to answer their other
question how do we preserve the record
the record on appeal has already been
preserved the first time you raised the
issue in court Alina habba raised the
issue Chris kis raised the issue Cliff
Robert raised the issue all lawyers for
Donald Trump same issue every day
bashing the the the principal law clerk
they don't like that she writes notes
they don't like that she makes comments
she they don't like that she rolls their
eyes when they make ridiculous arguments
I got news for them a jury would be
worse for
them maybe they've never tried enough
cases but they also don't understand the
fundamentals of New York practice as it
relates to the principal law Clerk and
that
ignorance that ignorance is laid bare in
their own filing and they don't even
know it or they don't care about it
Chris Kise used to have a decent
reputation when he was the solicitor
general down in in Florida he's lost it
he when when the judge Having learned
that the Appellate Court on Thursday
reinstated his gag order he let it be
known in court I am I plan on rigor
rigorously and vigorously enforcing the
gag orders on this issue you everybody
should know that that order has been
reinstated and Chris Kai said we we we
understand your honor and it's uh and
it's a sad day it's a sad day for
democracy it's a sad day for justice
Chris ka's comment was we're aware it's
a tragic day for the rule of law I got
news for Chris kis it's tragic to watch
how you and your fellow uh lawyers most
of which are participating in this court
by permission of the court because
you're not barred in the state of New
York are trampling over the the the
judicial process and making a mockery
out of it and attacking people that are
just doing their job you may not like
their politics Chris you may not like
that she's a Democrat I don't like that
you're a republican but that doesn't
matter we're supposed to be calling
balls and Strikes we're supposed to be
advocating zealous ly for our clients
but we're supposed to preserve the
sanctity and the Dignity of the court
process where is that it's nowhere it's
these ridiculous statements that Chris
kais is and others make in their filings
Donald Trump has a sacran First
Amendment unfettered right to do
whatever he pleases because he's got 10
million social media
followers I mean I I can't even get that
statement out without laughing that
can't be the grounds for your appeal so
let's make the prediction the poac
prediction the legal AF
prediction maybe maybe 6040 the court of
appeals
grants uh the right and the first
department grant the right for an
expedited appeal
maybe the other timeline that you got to
look at is this trial that we're talking
about is going to be over in the next
four weeks the trial setting is probably
going to be over in the next two weeks
and then there's going to be the um uh
or the closing arguments in January judg
has already said that we're a month away
from this whole thing being done but
that doesn't mean the principal law
clerk should be subject to continue
doxing and bashing by the former
president of the United
States uh and subject to assassination
attempts and threats I don't think that
should happen in
America uh so that's one so they're
worried about that and they're worried
that Donald Trump could end up being
imprisoned they actually say this in the
brief we're worried that judge engoron
continuing to enforce the gag orders
will ultimately try to imprison
president Trump wouldn't he love that be
a martyr and go to Riker's Island for a
week or two that's a sobering event in
his life but let's set that aside for a
minute prediction one 6040 chance that
it'll that they'll take up the appeal in
time then they'll have to set an
expedited emergency briefing schedule to
get this thing done in the next week
we'll see and even if that happens based
on the law and the fact facts I had a
stutter on that last word facts that
they're alleging and their
interpretation of constitutional law
which is wrong they're not going to win
that appeal and the court of appeals is
worried not about so much about Donald
Trump although they are worried about
Donald Trump they're worried about the
next Donald Trump what is the lesson
that's being imparted to other
participants in the Civil not even
criminal civil process thousands and
thousands and thousands of cases are on
the docket in New York every year that
go to trial civil disputes business
disputes personal injury disputes
landlord tenant disputes uh trust and
Estates disputes you know products
liability disputes important stuff and
we're going to give the permission slip
to all people in New York to act like
Donald Trump because if you let him act
like that how do you not let the next
guy act like that well Donald Trump got
away with it there's a case that says
I'm allowed to do this you can't gag me
I can go out every day and Bash you your
wife your loved ones your staff it
doesn't matter doesn't matter I have a
First Amendment right you don't part of
your First Amendment right is left at
the courthouse steps when you enter the
courtroom either against your will as a
criminal defendant or you've been sued
or are suing as a participant in Civil
Justice that's just the way it is it's
the way it's always
been I don't have a First Amendment
right in fact it violates my code of
ethics to attack judges that I'm
appearing regularly in front
of and judges can't attack me regularly
that I appear in front of either because
you don't have an unfettered First
Amendment right you certainly don't when
you're the defendant in a civil fraud
case and you're a participant in that
process you can try your case in the
courtroom but everything that they cite
in their briefing has nothing to do with
the courtroom he has to be able to tell
his 10 million social media followers
that he doesn't like the law clerk why
what does it have to do with the
administration of justice in the
courtroom what does that have to do with
the right and the ability of doe process
in a court of law what does that have to
do with the with the ability to either
win or lose your case in a civil fraud
matter zero and that is where the court
whether it's the the first department
appell at division that just ruled on
the 30th or the new court of appeals
that will rule in the future they have
to preserve and protect and defend to
use the phrase that's o right now the
justice
system because if this out of control
maniac and his lawyers do it now you can
imagine Anarchy that results in the
future from a court order that allows
Donald Trump to do this and continue to
do this today it's the principal law
Clerk and the wife of the judge and the
judge tomorrow who knows a preschool
child of a judge how low will Donald
Trump in his lawyers sink they're
already hit rock bottom and they're
starting to dig as far as I'm concerned
how low will they go is there a child of
one of these participants that happens
to be uh disabled or have a handicap in
some way why don't we attack
them you know there was a big attack
criticism about how the media followed
Baron Trump and Melania was all upset
about it the our former first lady
but her husband has no problem going
after the elderly wife of a judge
wrongly by the way claiming that she was
posting things on social media when she
was not and that was a fake account or
some or not even her account but but
this is Donald Trump out of control if
these events if you want your former
president to to stoop so low that he
would uh in a defamatory and disgusting
way
attack a lot of women by the way women
and others law clerks and judges if
that's what you want in your brand of of
of President I can't talk you out of it
if you're okay with this if you don't
find that these activities are
disqualifying events for this person to
ever hold High office again there's
nothing that we can say on legal a for
the Meidastouch Network that's going to
convince you but keep an open mind let
the scales drop from your eyes and watch
what is happening and decide if this
person Ally aligns with your values your
morals your political leanings and if he
doesn't then don't vote for him but
we'll continue to bring it right here on
legal AF the leading podcast of the
intersection of law politics and Justice.
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Re: Judge Engoron Imposes Gag Order After Trump Attacks Cler

Postby admin » Tue Dec 05, 2023 2:53 am

Posts to Trump's Truth Social, 12/2/23 Re Judge Engoron, Leticia James and Engoron's Principal Law Clerk

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Re: Judge Engoron Imposes Gag Order After Trump Attacks Cler

Postby admin » Wed Jan 17, 2024 1:35 am

Trump fraud trial Judge [Engoron] home was swatting target, police say
by Kevin Breuninger @KEVINWILLIAMB and Dan Mangan
CNBC
January 11 2024 8:29 AM EST UPDATED THU, JAN 11 20241:15 PM EST

** Police are investigating a swatting incident at the New York home of the judge set to hear closing arguments in the business fraud trial of former President Donald Trump.
** An email making a threat to the home of Judge Arthur Engoron was sent to a Long Island newspaper, Nassau County Police told CNBC.
** The threat comes on the heels of swatting calls made about the homes of Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith and the judge presiding over a criminal case against Trump.


Police are investigating a swatting incident at the New York home of the judge set to hear closing arguments later Thursday morning in the business fraud trial of former President Donald Trump.

It is the second time in days that a swatting attempt has been made against a judge handling a case involving Trump. Swatting involves false claims of violence or other incidents at other people’s homes or businesses to get police to swarm those locations.

An email making a threat to the Long Island home of Judge Arthur Engoron was sent to a local newspaper, Nassau County Police told CNBC on Thursday morning.

The newspaper called police at 5:30 a.m. ET to relay the threat, police said.

Officers who responded to Engoron’s home did not find a threat to the judge at the residence.

The Daily Beast news outlet and NBC News reported that a bomb threat had been made against Engoron’s home, but a spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department would not confirm the nature of the threat to CNBC.

Closing arguments in Trump’s civil fraud trial are still set to begin at 10 a.m. ET in Manhattan Supreme Court despite the threat. Trump arrived at the court Thursday to attend as he had planned.

The threat came a day after Engoron denied a request by Trump’s lawyer to allow the former president to give some of the defense’s closing arguments.

The lawyer, Chris Kise, refused to confirm to Engoron that Trump would abide by restrictions the judge had set on what Trump could say during the closing.

On Sunday night, police and fire trucks responded to a false report of a shooting at the Washington, D.C., home of U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan. That judge is handling the case where Trump is charged with crimes related to his attempt to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election, and his incitement of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

On Christmas Day, Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith was the target of an attempted swatting. Smith, who lives in Maryland, is prosecuting Trump in the D.C. case that Chutkan is handling, and in another federal criminal case in Florida involving Trump’s retention of classified documents after leaving the White House.


Al Baker, a spokesman for the New York state court system, said he was aware of the threat against Engoron.

“Comprehensive security protocols have been in place around these court proceedings since the beginning and that continues,” Baker said. “Out of an abundance of caution and due to concerns for the safety of Justice Engoron, we are increasing those security protocols at this time.”

“We do expect to continue with the proceedings as planned,” Baker said.
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