One of the many lawsuits that former president Donald Trump is dealing with is related to his New York real estate empire. Letitia James, the New York attorney general, filed a lawsuit against him, claiming that he committed fraud by inflating the value of his property holdings. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron is hearing the case. Engoron imposed a non-speech order following Trump’s offensive remarks on Truth Social. Legal counsel for the ex-president filed an appeal. The appeals court has now rejected the appeal.
The New York Court of Appeals rejected the ex-president’s allegation of First Amendment infringement on January 16th. The panel’s decision to dismiss the appeal was based on the inability of Trump’s legal team to demonstrate that the lower court’s decision constituted any “substantial constitutional question,” as stated in the ruling.
The relevant gag order was imposed at the outset of the October trial due to remarks made by Trump against Engoron’s employees. A picture of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the principal law clerk was included in a post that accused her of being his lover. After that, Trump was fined $5,000 by Engoron for disobeying his order to remove the post. It seems to have been removed as of this writing. A few days later, Trump was hit with an additional $10,000 fine for allegedly persisting in making derogatory comments on social media.
The appeals court also dismissed the request to stay the non-dissemination order as “as academic” because the trial is over and a verdict from Engoron is imminent. In his final statement, Trump maintained that his financial records were “perfect,” but admitting to a single “honest mistake” that he “immediately corrected.”
James is aiming to have the ex-president fined $370 million and permanently barred from the real estate industry in New York. Trump has, like in every previous instance, disputed the charges leveled against him.