Trump’s Decision To Postpone Closing Arguments May Taint the Next Trial

( — The judge in Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial last Thursday scheduled closing arguments for January 11, just days before Trump’s defamation trial in New York is set to begin.

ABC News reported that Judge Arthur Engoron gave both parties until noon on January 5 to file their briefs, with closing arguments scheduled for January 11. The judge said he expected to issue his decision within “a few weeks” after closing arguments but hoped to have the case wrapped before the end of January.

Attorneys for New York Attorney General Letitia James had asked the judge to schedule closing arguments for December 13, while attorneys for Trump asked that they be scheduled for 60 days after both parties submitted their filings.

In a post on X, MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin said that the decision by Trump’s legal team to “push for more time” in scheduling the closing arguments leaves Trump’s defense team with only four days to prepare for his next civil trial, the second defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll.

Carroll is seeking an additional $10 million in damages after Trump again defamed her during the CNN town hall that aired the same day the jury reached its verdict in May.

On the same day that Judge Engoron scheduled closing arguments, the New York appeals court reinstated Engoron’s gag order against Trump and his attorneys, rejecting his legal team’s argument that the order violated the former president’s constitutional rights.

An appeals court judge on November 16 temporarily lifted the gag order that prevented Trump and his attorneys from making statements against Judge Engoron’s staff, particularly his clerk Allison Greenfield.

But after Engoron and Greenfield were subjected to hundreds of threatening messages, the court and the attorney general asked the appeals court to reinstate the gag order.

In a filing to the appeals court, attorneys for the court revealed that since the gag order was lifted, the number of harassing messages to Greenfield increased significantly, and half of them were antisemitic.

In reinstating the gag order, the 4-judge panel did not give the rationale behind the decision.

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