Trump tells appeals court that threats to judge and clerk in NY civil fraud trial do not justify gag order | CNN Politics

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Donald Trump has urged a New York appeals court to stay a stay of a criminal injunction against him in a civil fraud trial, saying threats against a judge and a law clerk do not limit the former president’s constitutional right to self-defense.

The New York attorney general’s office and trial lawyers urged the appeals court last week to reinstate the gag order following “severe and credible” threats that have flooded Judge Arthur Engron’s chambers since the trial began in October.

Trump’s lawyers He wrote on Monday The former president never threatened the judge or the chief legal secretary and cannot be held responsible for the actions of others. They argued that Trump’s First Amendment right to criticize and call out bias by judges and lawmakers with impunity is “essential” to maintaining public confidence in the judicial process.

Trump’s attorneys wrote that “in essence, the harassing behavior of anonymous third-party actors against the judge and the attorney general presiding over an extremely stressful and high-profile trial in public deserves appropriate security measures.” “However, it does not justify the wholesale abrogation of petitioners’ First Amendment rights in a high-profile case, which is undermined by the introduction of partisan bias on the bench.

Monday’s filing is the first of hundreds of harassing messages against Ingoron and the law clerk. It was official last week.. Ingoron’s secretary received 20-30 calls a day to her personal phone and 30-50 messages daily on social media platforms and two personal email addresses, according to court papers.

Earlier this month, a New York appeals court judge temporarily lifted a gag order on Trump and his lawyers, barring them from making public statements about the judge’s staff, particularly the chief legal secretary who advises his bench. Trump and his lawyers have argued that the law secretary is biased against Trump based on political donations to some organizations that support the New York attorney general. They accused her of “co-judging” the case based on her repeated consultations with the judge. At the time, an appeals court judge said he would lift the gag order to allow a full panel of judges to consider the constitutional issues at play.

The judge’s attorneys filed a filing last week urging the appeals court to reinstate the gag order, saying that since the gag order was lifted on Nov. 16, the number of messages has increased and nearly half of the harassing messages received by the writer are anti-Semitic.

Trump’s lawyers say Trump cannot be blamed for the opinions of others.

“But none of the contempt reflected in those messages can be attributed to President Trump or his advisers. “Neither President Trump nor his advisers have made any statement that refers to the religion, appearance, or personal activities of the attorney general,” he told the appeals court.

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