The office of the New York judge overseeing Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial has been bombarded with death threats and antisemitic abuse following the former president’s online attacks.
Judge Arthur Engoron and his clerk, Allison Greenfield, are said to have received hundreds of threatening, harassing and disparaging messages via telephone and social media.
Attorneys for the New York state court system made the case for the imposition of gag orders on Trump, citing “serious and credible” threats against Engoron and Greenfield.
Transcribed voicemail messages, disclosed in court filings, revealed the extent of the abuse directed at the pair. Alongside racist and sexist attacks the messages contain several death threats. “I mean, honestly, you should be assassinated,” said one. “You should be killed. You should be not assassin executed [sic]. You should be executed.”
Another said: “Resign now, you dirty, treasonous piece of trash snake. We are going to get you and anyone of you dirty, backstabbing, lying, cheating American. You are nothing but a bunch of communists. We are coming to remove you permanently.”
Last month Trump posted an image of Greenfield on his social network and described her as the “girlfriend” of Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate majority leader. This prompted Engoron to impose a limited gag order, barring the former president from commenting on court staffers.
But a New York appeals court judge last week paused this gag order, enabling Trump to comment freely about court staff while a longer appeals process plays out.
Greenfield’s personal contact details have been compromised, according to Charles Hollon, a court safety official.
“I have been informed by Ms Greenfield that she has been receiving approximately 20-30 calls per day to her personal cell phone and approximately 30-50 messages per day online,” Hollon said. “Ms Greenfield also informed me that since the interim stay was issued lifting the gag orders on November 16, 2023, approximately half of the harassing and disparaging messages have been antisemitic.”
The fraud case brought by New York attorney general, Letitia James, accuses the Trump Organization of falsely inflating the value of its properties in order to obtain favorable loans.
Engoron’s pre-trial summary judgment found Trump guilty of fraud and revoked his New York business licenses, essentially ending his ability to conduct business in the state. Because this is a bench trial with no jury, Engoron is the sole presider of the case.
Lawyers for Trump, who has denied wrongdoing and alleged corruption, have appealed the judgment.