The situation unfolded when a New York appellate court informed Trump’s lawyers that they had missed the deadline to challenge a gag order in a civil fraud case led by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Trump is accused of inflating his net worth for better business deals, charges he denies. The case seeks $250 million in damages and involves and involves members of the Trump Organization.
Initially, a state appellate court judge temporarily lifted two gag orders imposed by Justice Arthur Engoron, which restricted Trump from discussing court staff publicly. However, these orders were later reinstated.
Trump’s legal team attempted to get a single judge to ask the Court of Appeals to halt the gag order. Yet, during an informal session, they were informed that a full panel must decide on the issue and that they had missed a crucial filing deadline, according to the Washington Post.
Reacting to this development, Rubin drew a parallel to a scene in “Clueless” where the character Cher Horowitz, played by Alicia Silverstone, fails her driving test but seeks to appeal to a higher authority. Rubin likened the lawyers’ frustration and their hope to find a higher authority to resolve their issue to the film scene.
The gag order was originally imposed after Engoron cited threats and harassment directed at his staff due to Trump’s social media activity. Despite the order, Trump continued to comment on the trial and the staff involved, leading to fines totaling $15,000 for violating the order.
Trump’s lawyers have argued that the gag order infringes upon his right to free speech. They claim that without a swift review, Trump and his team suffer daily irreparable harm as they are silenced on matters related to perceived bias and impropriety during a high-stakes trial.
Engoron previously ruled in a partial summary judgment that the defendants committed fraud. The ongoing trial will determine the extent of damages and address other allegations, including falsifying business records and insurance fraud. Trump is expected to testify as the final defense witness on Monday.