New Developments in Trump’s War Against NY Legal Gag Order

In a recent development that underscores the ongoing legal challenges faced by former President Donald Trump, a court filing in New York has called for a gag order on Trump’s social media commentary. This move, seen by many as an infringement on free speech, particularly in political discourse, has sparked significant debate and controversy.

The filing, submitted by lawyers for the New York state court system, was in response to Trump’s criticism of a judge’s clerk on social media, which allegedly led to numerous threatening and harassing messages. The court documents detailed how the clerk, Allison Greenfield, became a target of doxing, receiving daily harassing and antisemitic messages. This situation prompted the initial gag order by Judge Arthur Engoron in Trump’s civil fraud case, which an appellate court later lifted.

Trump, a vocal critic of the legal proceedings against him, has not publicly responded to these allegations. However, he has been fined several thousand dollars for comments about the judge’s staff. Since lifting the gag order, Trump has continued to express his views on social media platforms like Truth Social, where he described Greenfield as a Democratic Party loyalist with connections to Senator Chuck Schumer.

The threats against Judge Engoron and Ms. Greenfield were described as “serious and credible” by Charles Hollon of the New York Department of Public Safety. However, despite claims of over 275 pages of transcribed threats, specific evidence of these threats was not provided.

In contrast, Trump’s legal team has argued that the gag order is unconstitutional, infringing on his First Amendment rights, especially as he is a leading figure in the Republican Party and a frontrunner for the 2024 presidential nomination. They contend that his speech is core political speech, crucial for public discourse, particularly when it concerns perceived partisanship and bias in a trial that has significant implications for him.

The state appeals court’s decision to lift the gag order was a significant development. During an emergency hearing, Associate Justice David Friedman questioned Judge Engoron’s authority to police Trump’s speech outside the courtroom. This ruling underscores the importance of constitutional and statutory rights in such cases.

Trump’s lawyers, including Christopher Kise and Alina Habba, have expressed satisfaction with the appellate judge’s decision, emphasizing the importance of Trump’s ability to speak freely about the bias he perceives in his trial. Habba, in particular, noted the need for both sides to have the freedom to speak, especially in light of ongoing disparagements against Trump by the New York attorney general.

In a recent post on Truth Social, Trump continued to express his views, alleging that Judge Engoron undervalued his properties and acted under the attorney general’s direction. These comments reflect Trump’s ongoing battle against what he perceives as a biased legal system.

As the legal proceedings continue, the debate over the limits of free speech in the context of judicial proceedings, particularly involving high-profile political figures, remains a contentious and significant issue.