Friday, the Manhattan judge presiding over former President Donald Trump's $250 million civil fraud prosecution fined him $5,000 for failing to remove a social media post insulting the court clerk from his campaign website.
According to a report from The New York Post, the judge also threatened to imprison Trump if he violated the gag order, as The New York Post reported.
After hearing Trump's explanation that a screenshot of the post, in which the 45th president disparaged Engoron's top law clerk Allison Greenfield, was "inadvertently" left on his website for 17 days, Allison Greenfield apologized.
After a court order prohibited Trump from publicly criticizing Engoron's staff, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron issued the mild penalty to Trump, 77.
If Trump violates the gag order a second time, the court, which has already found him culpable of fraud for making "indisputably" false promises to obtain favorable terms with banks, has stated that such justifications will not be tolerated.
“Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to far more severe sanctions,” Engoron wrote Friday, including “steeper financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court, and possibly imprisoning him.”
The New York Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection, a public trust that compensates clients for financial losses caused by "dishonest" professional conduct, demanded that Trump pay $5,000 within ten days.
Engoron questioned Trump's counsel hours before issuing his verdict as to why the 2024 GOP frontrunner had not removed the social media post that falsely accused Greenfield of being "Schumer's girlfriend."
Greenfield and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) were photographed and posted online at a campaign event.
One of Schumer's spokespeople described Trump's post as "ridiculous, absurd, and false," and added that the senator is unfamiliar with Greenfield.
Chris Kise, Trump's counsel, stated that the social media screenshot was mistakenly left online until last night after being "automatically" uploaded to Trump's campaign website.
As of Thursday, when the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Rudy Kise of not treating them with respect, tensions between Trump's attorneys and the AG's office were already elevated.
The judge in James' enormous lawsuit has already ruled that Trump committed fraud, the main claim, stating that the former president "indisputably" made false statements in his financial documents.
Trump's legal team is appealing Engoron's September verdict that found him liable for fraud and is proceeding with dissolving his New York "business certificates," both of which could severely limit the ability of Trump's long-standing corporation to operate in New York.