Donald Trump has already attacked Arthur Engoron, the judge presiding over his real-estate fraud trial in New York, which began Monday. On Tuesday, he directed his ire at a new, far less prominent target: On his social-media site, Truth Social, Trump posted a photo of one of Engoron’s clerks standing next to Senator Chuck Schumer, wrote that the clerk was running the trial against him, and referred to her falsely as “Schumer’s girlfriend,” adding “How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!” The former president then proceeded to link to her locked Instagram profile.
Trump brought up his post about the clerk and again attacked her in front of television cameras in the courthouse on Tuesday.
Shortly after, the post disappeared from Trump’s Truth Social page, sparking speculation that he had been ordered to delete it. The New York Times reports that Engoron has indeed issued a gag order forbidding all parties in the trial from speaking about members of his staff online or in the media.
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate, and I will not tolerate them under any circumstances,” he said.
Trump has consistently used social media to target perceived foes involved with his recent legal troubles. He has described Special Counsel Jack Smith, the veteran prosecutor who indicted Trump twice in connection with classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and the events of January 6, as “deranged.” He has called for Engoron, the judge leading the fraud trial, to be disbarred and suggested that he has committed criminal acts.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Trump railed against Engoron as well as New York attorney general Letitia James, who brought the fraud lawsuit. He has called James, who is Black, “racist” and accused her of corruption.
The former president’s words have repercussions for his targets. The New York Times reports that Engoron, who will be the sole decider in the fraud case, is escorted to and from court by an armed security guard as a result of threats against his life. In August, a Texas woman was arrested for threatening Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over the Justice Department’s interference case and whom Trump has called to recuse herself.