A New York appeals court temporarily lifted former President Donald Trump’s gag order on Thursday. Judge Arthur Engoron originally imposed the gag order in October after Trump posted a social media post alleging that one of Engoron’s law clerks had an affair with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Associate Judge David Friedman from the New York Appellate Division First Judicial Department wrote and signed the order. Friedman temporarily lifted the gag order “considering the constitutional and statutory rights at issue.” The gag order is lifted pending a full panel determination, which is currently slated for November 27.
In response to the order, Trump stated:
Judge Arthur Engoron has just been overturned (stayed!) by the New York State Appellate Division (Appeals Court), for the 4th TIME (on the same case!). His Ridiculous and Unconstitutional Gag Order, not allowing me to defend myself against him and his politically biased and out of control, Trump Hating Clerk, who is sinking him and his Court to new levels of LOW, is a disgrace. They are defending the Worst and Least Respected Attorney General in the United States, Letitia James, who is a Worldwide disgrace, as is her illegal Witch Hunt against me.
After Engoron issued the gag order, Trump challenged it with an Article 78 petition. Under New York Law, Article 78 proceedings challenge the action or inaction by agencies of New York State and local governments. Trump’s petition argues that the gag order violates his rights under the First Amendment of the US Constitution and Article I, Section 8 of the New York Constitution. Trump also filed a motion for a mistrial in this case.
Soon after the initial gag order, Engoron imposed a $5,000 fine on Trump over posts about Engoron’s clerk on Trump’s presidential campaign site. Then on October 25, Engoron imposed a $10,000 fine on Trump over a comment the former president made to reporters about Engoron’s staff.
Trump is also under a gag order in one of his four pending criminal cases. On November 3, The US Court of Appeals for the Federal District of Columbia Circuit temporarily froze a gag order against Trump in his criminal trial for his alleged election interference during the 2020 US presidential election.