(DailyVantage.com) – Former president Donald Trump may still be fighting multiple legal battles on different fronts, but his team scored a win after an appeals judge lifted a gag order that was previously issued against the former chief executive.
Appeals court Judge David Friedman issued a stay on an earlier order handed down by Judge Arthur Engoron that prohibits Trump from issuing derogatory statements about agents of the court and other court staff. Judge Engoron, who presides over the former president’s New York civil fraud case, issued the order last October. Trump has already been fined twice for violating the said order: $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for the second incident, with Judge Engoron threatening the former commander-in-chief with jail time if he committed a third violation.
Judge Friedman, however, argued that such an order was a violation of Trump’s right to free speech, which is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In his decision, the judge questioned whether Judge Engoron had the right to limit Trump’s speech outside of the courtroom—or on social media, where the former president frequently posts his thoughts on things. Judge Friedman further explained that gag orders are usually issued in criminal cases, where public statements have the potential to influence a jury’s decision. Trump’s civil fraud case has no jury, and Judge Engoron has already determined Trump and his adult sons guilty of fraud. The ongoing trial is only to determine the extent of the fraud committed and what kind of punishment the court will impose.
Trump was expectedly elated at the news, posting his feelings of vindication on Truth Social, the social media he owns, where he commands millions of followers. In his post, he reiterated his prior statement that called the gag order “ridiculous and unconstitutional”, and called out Engoron and his staff for being “politically biased”. Engoron, along with his “Trump Hating Clerk” were a “disgrace”, Trump’s post read. He also took the opportunity to take a dig at New York Attorney General Letitia James, calling her the “worst and least respected attorney general in the United States.”
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