An appeals court judge on Thursday temporarily lifted a partial gag order imposed on Donald Trump in his New York civil fraud trial.
Judge David Friedman issued an interim stay of the gag order imposed by another judge, who is presiding over the business fraud trial of the former president.
Judge Arthur Engoron slapped a limited gag order on Trump on October 3 after he insulted the judge’s principal law clerk in a post on his Truth Social platform.
Engoron has fined the 77-year-old Trump a total of $15,000 for two violations of the restriction.
Trump’s attorneys appealed the gag order claiming it violated his right to free speech and Friedman ordered it lifted pending a hearing.
“Considering the constitutional and statutory rights at issue an interim stay is granted,” the appellate judge wrote.
Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and his two eldest sons are accused of inflating the value of their real estate assets to receive more favorable bank loans and insurance terms.
The federal judge set to preside over Trump’s March trial in Washington for conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election also imposed a partial gag order on the brash billionaire but that order has also been frozen pending an appeals court hearing to take place on Monday.
US District Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered Trump last month not to publicly attack prosecutors, court staff or potential witnesses ahead of his trial.
Chutkan’s ruling came after special counsel Jack Smith, a frequent target of Trump’s vitriol, filed a motion claiming the real estate tycoon’s inflammatory rhetoric threatened to undermine his trial for election subversion.
Trump was indicted in Washington for allegedly seeking to upend the results of the 2020 election in a concerted effort that led to the violent January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.
Trump also faces federal charges for alleged mishandling of top secret documents after he left the White House, and has been indicted for racketeering in Georgia on accusations that he tried to overturn the 2020 election results in the southern state.
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