Trump last week was found guilty of committing fraud in the case and claimed on Tuesday that he expects to take the stand at some point. But in the meantime, Trump has been giving televised statements in between courtroom proceedings and posting on Truth Social about the case.
His comments have included repeated attacks against those involved, most notably New York Attorney General Letitia James and Judge Arthur Engoron, who has been presiding over the case. On Tuesday, Trump posted — then deleted — an attack against Engoron’s clerk, Alison Greenfield, who was sitting in the courtroom with the former president at the time of the post.
Trump quoted a Twitter post from an account highlighting a photo of Greenfield with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “Schumer’s girlfriend, Alison R. Greenfield, is running this case against me. How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!” Trump wrote.
In another series of posts, Trump attacked Engoron, accusing him of giving “false and grossly misleading information about my Net Worth by a lying and incompetent Attorney General.” Trump repeated his claim that his resort at Mar-a-Lago is worth close “to 1.5 Billion dollars.”
“The N.Y.S. Attorney General, therefore, committed FRAUD for Political and Election Interference reasons. This case should therefore be dismissed!” Trump added
On Monday, Trump called for Engoron’s disbarment, and leveled a series of attacks against James. Engoron “should be disbarred,” Trump told the reporters gathered outside of the courtroom. “This is a judge that should be out of office. This is a judge that some people say could be charged criminally for what he’s doing. He’s interfering with an election, and it’s a disgrace.”
In the same rant, the former president referred to James as a “terrible person.” He has previously referred to James as ”biased and corrupt” and a “racist.”
Trump is facing a slew of legal cases in the upcoming year, and the civil fraud trial in New York offers a window into the public strategy he may implement when called into court. But federal prosecutors in D.C. and Georgia are already eying a counter strategy, using Trump’s own comments as evidence to secure partial, and maybe complete, gag orders barring him from publicly discussing his cases.
In September, Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office requested a partial protective order that would bar Trump from intimidating or attacking potential witnesses, jurors, or judicial personnel assigned to the Justice Department’s cases against the former president. Last week, after Trump accused Gen. Mark Milley of treason and suggested the punishment should be death, Smith cited the former president’s post in a filing reaffirming the need for restrictions on Trump’s public statements.
No request has yet been made in Trump’s New York civil fraud case to restrict his public statements, but the consequences may bear out in other ways. Judge Engoron will be solely responsible for determining what penalties will be leveled against the former president, and Trump’s attempts to malign the character of Engoron and his staff are probably doing little to help his case.