Donald Trump faced a restricted gag order from a New York judge on Tuesday following his public criticism of a court official’s integrity during the second day of his ongoing bank fraud trial. Judge Arthur F. Engoron expressed his disapproval, stating, “Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, not appropriate.”
Earlier, Trump had shared an image of a court clerk on his Truth Social platform alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., labeling her as “Schumer’s girlfriend” and calling for the case’s dismissal. The post was subsequently deleted, but the trial proceeded.
TRUMP’S EFFORTS TO END THE TRIAL AND DEBATES
Despite Trump and his supporters advocating for the trial’s dismissal and the halt of upcoming Republican presidential debates, both efforts were unsuccessful. Judge Engoron continued examining questionable property valuations by Trump, while GOP campaigns criticized Trump for wanting to stop debates he doesn’t participate in. Trump had previously told the media that the case should be dismissed because “this is not a case.”
PROCEEDINGS OF THE TRIAL
The proceedings moved forward on the trial’s second consecutive day, with Trump in attendance. Engoron had previously determined that Trump had committed bank fraud by exaggerating his property values to obtain significant loans. The trial’s primary focus now is determining the consequences, which could impact much of Trump’s business ventures. Engoron dismissed the defense’s objections regarding the alleged offenses’ timing, emphasizing that the trial’s purpose wasn’t to revisit his prior decisions. Trump criticized those involved in the case, leading to the gag order.
GOP DEBATES CONTINUE
Despite Trump’s campaign urging the Republican National Committee (RNC) to cease debates and rally behind him, the RNC is proceeding with another debate scheduled for Nov. 8 in Miami. Trump’s advisers, Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, suggested that the RNC should redirect its “manpower and money” to defeating the Democrats in 2024. Other GOP candidates criticized Trump’s efforts to halt the debates, with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accusing Trump of avoiding debates due to his numerous legal challenges. According to Christie, Trump is “a hypocrite and a coward who will do and say anything to advance his own interests and silence some of his critics.”
The RNC did make a debate-related decision on Tuesday, informing Christie and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy that their participation in the Miami debate might be jeopardized if they proceeded with a joint appearance on Fox News. As a result, Fox decided to host individual interviews with both. Christie, on a social media platform named X, emphasized the need for more debates. Ramaswamy, also on X, criticized a recent GOP debate and advocated for more one-on-one events.
In an official statement, the RNC reminded that all candidates had previously committed to not participating in unauthorized debates. RNC wrote in a statement that all candidates “signed a pledge and agreed months ago to not participate in unsanctioned debates.”