2024 Election

NY Judge Gags Trump Lawyers from Discussing ‘Confidential Communications’ of Activist Court Clerk


New York County Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron on Friday gagged former President Donald Trump’s legal counsel from discussing his “confidential communications” with staff, including note-passing from clerk Allison Greenfield.

According to a copy of the order published by the Messenger, Engoron ordered, “All counsel are prohibited from making any public statements, in or out of court, that refer to any confidential communications, in any form, between my staff and me.” 

“Serious sanctions” will be brought against the legal team if they violate the order, said Engoron, who is overseeing the civil lawsuit New York Attorney General Letitia James has brought against Trump and his eldest sons.

He specifically named Trump lawyers Christopher Kise, Clifford Robert, and Alina Habba, writing that they “have made, on the record, repeated, inappropriate remarks about my Principal Law Clerk, falsely accusing her of bias against them and of improperly influencing the ongoing bench trial.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 25: Former President Donald Trump sits in court with attorneys Alina Habba and Christopher Kise during his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on October 25, 2023 in New York City. The former president may be forced to sell off his properties after Justice Arthur Engoron canceled his business certificates and ruled that he committed fraud for years while building his real estate empire after being sued by Attorney General Letitia James, seeking $250 million in damages. The trial will determine how much he and his companies will be penalized for the fraud.

He continued: 

Defendants’ attorneys have made long speeches alleging that it is improper for a judge to consult with a law clerk during ongoing proceedings, and that the passing of notes from a judge to a law clerk, or vice-versa, constitutes an improper “appearance of impropriety” in this case. These arguments have no basis.

Politico reporter Erica Orden wrote that earlier, “Kise complained about Greenfield’s habit of passing notes to Engoron during proceedings, suggesting she is improperly influencing his decisions.”

The justice also noted that the order blankets references to his staff, but not him, and cited harassing and threatening messages his court has received: 

Since the commencement of this bench trial, my chambers have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threating phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters, and packages. The First Amendment right of defendants and their attorneys to comment on my staff is far and away outweighed by the need to protect them from threats and physical harm. 

This comes as Engoron has already gagged Trump himself from mentioning Greenfield publicly and fined him twice for a total of $15,000 after finding he violated the order. 

Hours before the latest order, a Breitbart News report about Greenfield appearing “to have violated judicial rules preventing officers of the court from making excessive political donations” took center stage in the trial. Breitbart News Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Boyle noted, “It appears Engoron was advised of Greenfield’s violations” in the report. 

“There’s a news story out [today]…about particular political contributions made by your court staff…it raises questions of impartiality,” Kise said, according to Law360’s Stewart Bishop. Kise reportedly suggested the defense would “give serious consideration to seeking a mistrial.”

Upon learning the report was from Breitbart News, “There were audible scoffs in the courtroom,” Orden noted in a tweet.

Engoron became frustrated, according to Pix11 Reporter Henry Rosoff. 

https://twitter.com/BreitbartNews/status/1720531704840888559?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1720531704840888559%7Ctwgr%5E807f6360741556c2fd5047d60ab44e38001dfbfe%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.breitbart.com%2F2024-election%2F2023%2F11%2F03%2Fangry-arthur-ny-judge-gags-trump-lawyers-from-discussing-confidential-communications-of-activist-court-clerk%2F

“This idea someone has notified me, absolutely untrue, absolutely untrue,” he said. 

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“…I’ll let everyone in the room think what they will about Breitbart,” he added. 

 

 

 

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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