It came after the former president made a disparaging remark about the Judge’s clerk on social media– he also ordered Trump to delete the post.
It came on a day when the former President sat inside the courtroom, generally with his arms crossed with a look of annoyance.
“This case should be dismissed,” Trump said as testimony got underway on day two of what is expected to be a three-month trial.
Prior to the late afternoon gag order, the tedium that generally accompanies financial fraud trials involving mountains of documents was in full swing for most of the day.
The Office of Attorney General Leticia James stepped through Trump Organization statements of financial condition with witness Donald Bender. He is a former accountant with the firm Mazars, which handled the Trump family and business finances.
The Trump defense team repeatedly objected to any documents produced prior to February of 2016– saying the statute of limitations for civil fraud has passed. Judge Arthur Engoron, who will decide this case and has already found Trump liable of one of the seven claims before the trial started, was not persuaded and allowed the documents as evidence.
Trump defended his financial statements, especially because they contained warnings.
“How can there be fraud when you’ve told financial institutions to do their own work? This case is a fraud and a scam,” Trump said.
It is unclear how much more of the civil fraud trial the former President might sit through– as he seeks the Republican nomination for President.
He also faces pending criminal trials where he is accused of falsifying business records in Manhattan, hiding classified documents in Florida, widespread election interference leading to Jan. 6, 2021, and interfering with Georgia’s 2020 election.
Attendance in those matters will not be optional.
The former president promises he is coming back to New York to take the stand in this civil fraud case.