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Trump civil fraud trial judge expands gag order: Live


Jimmy Kimmel roasts Eric Trump for claiming he is ‘a construction guy’

Shortly after Eric Trump concluded his testimony at Donald Trump’s $250m civil fraud trial in New York on Friday, Judge Arthur Engoron expanded a gag order originally imposed on the former president to include his attorneys after a heated exchange over accusations of bias from the court clerk.

The Trump Organization is accused by New York Attorney General Letitia James of inflating asset values to fraudulently obtain better financing terms from banks. The outcome of this trial could topple the company.

On the stand, Eric was evasive and struggled to line up his responses with documentary evidence relating to the financial statements at the heart of the case. He also tried to shift blame onto accountants and lawyers hired by the firm, echoing his brother Donald Trump Jr’s earlier testimony.

Their sister, Ivanka Trump lost an appeal to postpone her testimony arguing she would face “undue hardship” as it was scheduled “in the middle of a school week”. She will appear on Wednesday.

However, next up on the stand on Monday is Donald Trump himself in what is expected to be unmissable and likely highly confrontational testimony.

Alex Woodward will report from the courthouse in New York

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DC election trial: Trump asks appeals court to let him attack witnesses in Jan 6 case

Attorneys for former president Donald Trump have asked the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn a district court order barring him from attacking or disparaging witnesses and other figures connected to the election subversion and conspiracy case pending against him in Washington.

In court papers filed late Thursday with the appellate court, Mr Trump’s legal team argues that the gag order imposed by Judge Tanya Chutkan on 16 October was inappropriate and an infringement on his right to free speech because he is “the leading candidate for President of the United States”.

At the time she entered the order, Judge Chutkan acknowledged Mr Trump’s status as a candidate and said her order would not bar him from “criticising the government generally … or the Justice Department” or statements characterising his prosecution as “politically motivated”.

But she said she would prohibit anyone involved in the case from “targeting” court personnel, prosecutors, or their families.

She also prohibited statements about witnesses or potential witnesses, or about their testimony and noted that the ex-president’s past conduct and the tendency of those targeted by him to receive threats and harassment figured prominently in her decision to impose the order.

Oliver O’Connell3 November 2023 21:00

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Full story: Fraud trial judge expands gag order to include Trump attorneys

An order from Judge Arthur Engoron on 3 November arrived one day after he assailed Mr Trump’s attorneys for openly criticising the judge’s principal law clerk for advising him throughout the trial.

The judge imposed a gag order earlier this month that blocks any parties from making comments about the court’s staff after the former president made a series of false and disparaging remarks about her outside the courtroom and on his Truth Social account.

After hours of testimony from Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump this week, which lawyers for the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James said were “extremely” favourable in their case targeting the Trump Organization, lead attorney Christopher Kise launched into a tirade on Friday about the clerk’s perceived “bias”, allegations outlined in a right-wing news website, and what he feels like are “two adversaries” on the bench.

Alex Woodward has been watching the trial unfold in court for The Independent, read the rest of his report here:

Oliver O’Connell3 November 2023 20:40

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‘Make me look sexy,’ Don Jr asks courtroom sketch artist

Donald Trump Jr was called to testify in a New York fraud trial this week, and took an unusual step to protect his image; he reportedly asked a courtroom sketch artist to “make me look sexy.”

Once his testimony was finished, the court took a break, and Mr Trump Jr rushed over to a sketch artist, Jane Rosenberg, who was there on assignment for Reuters.

Graig Graziosi has the story.

Oliver O’Connell3 November 2023 20:20

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Trump’s plan? Embarrass DeSantis by flipping his endorsements

The goal is for Florida lawmakers on the state level to come out for Mr Trump next week – the third GOP primary debate is set to take place on Wednesday in Miami but Mr Trump has indicated that he will not take part.

“It’s coming,” one person told NBC. “Exact number not yet said, but it will be close to 10.”

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Oliver O’Connell3 November 2023 20:00

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When was Trump last in court?

With Donald Trump set to testify in his fraud trial on Monday, you’re probably wondering when he was last in court at his own trial (he’s not obligated to attend as it’s a civil case).

As we’ve seen this week, he certainly wasn’t there to support his two eldest sons as they took the stand — even after Eric dutifully attended behind him each day he sat at the defence table.

Perhaps he’ll stick around for Ivanka’s testimony on Wednesday?

Here’s our coverage of the last time he was in court and how it ended with him storming out — perhaps an indication we should all buckle up on Monday…

Oliver O’Connell3 November 2023 19:40

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Voices: Trump’s children learnt their father’s best tricks – and it could be his downfall

I used to resent one of my co-workers who habitually came in late, left early, even helped themselves to other people’s work. There seemed to be no consequences for them, ever. “They’re getting away with murder!” I would sputter in frustration. I understood this to be just a figure of speech; I never really believed things could escalate to actual mayhem.

I thought of this colleague when, in 2016, Donald Trump boasted on tape that he could shoot someone on Fifth Ave and not lose voters. “Figure of speech!” I thought at the time. But then came the next seven years, and the endless cascade of lies and double-dealing from the 45th President. And yet Trump seemed to be correct in his belief that accountability was for suckers.

Until perhaps, at long last, now.

Oliver O’Connell3 November 2023 19:30

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NY fraud trial: Judge expands gag order to cover Trump’s attorneys

Justice Arthur Engoron presides over former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial

(Getty Images)

In a written order issued on Friday afternoon after the court adjourned for the weekend, Judge Engoron prohibited Mr Trump’s lawyers from making further comments about his confidential communications with his staff whether inside or outside of the courtroom.

“Since the commencement of this bench trial, my chambers have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threatening 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,” the judge wrote.

There will be serious sanctions for those who violate the order.

Judge Engoron clashed with defence attorney Christopher Kise on both Thursday and Friday in court as the former president’s sons Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump testified.

Oliver O’Connell3 November 2023 19:19

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George Santos sinks lower with vile attack on GOP lawmaker’s son

Serial liar George Santos unleashed a vile attack on the son of a fellow Republican lawmaker, calling him a “felon” and a “drug dealer” who has been “poisoning people on the streets with meth”.

“Last night, the House saw its shadow. Unfortunately, this means there will be two more weeks of Santos,” Mr Womack quipped on X, formerly Twitter.

In response, the embattled New York congressman chose to launch a venomous and highly personal attack on Mr Womack’s son James Womack.

Rachel Sharp reports on what he said.

Oliver O’Connell3 November 2023 19:00

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Today in court: Trump attorneys threaten mistrial motion in fraud case after warnings from judge

On 2 November, Judge Arthur Engoron warned that he would widen his gag order to include comments from the Trumps’ attorneys, after they criticised the judge’s principal law clerk for advising him throughout the trial.

The judge imposed a gag order earlier this month that blocks any parties from making comments about the court’s staff after the former president made a series of false and disparaging remarks about her outside the courtroom and on his Truth Social account.

After hours of testimony from Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump this week, which lawyers for the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James said were “extremely” favourable in their case targeting the Trump Organization, lead attorney Christopher Kise launched into a tirade on Friday about the clerk’s perceived “bias”, allegations outlined in a right-wing news website, and what he feels like are “two adversaries” on the bench.

Alex Woodward has been watching the trial unfold in court for The Independent, read the rest of his report here:

Oliver O’Connell3 November 2023 18:40

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Trump-appointed State Department official sentenced to nearly six years over Jan 6 riot

A Marine Corps veteran who served as a politically appointed State Department official in former President Donald Trump’s administration was sentenced on Friday to nearly six years in prison for attacking police officers during the 6 January 2021, riot at the US Capitol.

Federico Klein joined other Trump supporters in one of the most violent episodes of the January 6 siege — a mob’s fight with outnumbered police for control of a tunnel entrance on the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace. Klein repeatedly assaulted officers, urged other rioters to join the fray and tried to stop police from shutting entrance doors, according to federal prosecutors.

Klein “waged a relentless siege on police officers” as he tried to enter the Capitol and stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory over Trump, prosecutors said in a court filing.

Klein, who didn’t testify at his trial, declined to address the court before US District Judge Trevor McFadden sentenced him to five years and 10 months in prison.

“Your actions on January 6th were shocking and egregious,” the judge told Klein.

McFadden also ordered Klein to pay a $3,000 fine and $2,000 in restitution. He will report to prison at a date to be determined.

Klein worked in the State Department’s office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs from 2017 until he resigned from that position on 19 January 2021, a day before Biden’s inauguration.

Prosecutors said Klein’s participation in the riot was likely motivated by a desire to keep his job as a presidential appointee.

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