Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron hypothesized that Trump's attorney Chris Kise's remarks regarding his court clerk might have been motivated by "misogyny."
On Thursday afternoon, the Manhattan judge issued a ruling that directly targeted the primary attorney for former President Donald Trump, prohibiting him from making any additional remarks regarding his principal law clerk, as The Messenger reported. "She's a civil servant," the judge added later.
"Do not refer to my staff again," Justice Arthur Engoron told Trump's lawyer Christopher Kise at the end of testimony by the former president's son, Eric Trump.
Former President Trump was fined a total of $15,000 by Engoron for two earlier violations of a gag order that prohibited him and the parties involved from speaking publicly about his personnel.
Trump's social media post disparaging the clerk, Allison Greenfield, with a rumor involving a politician caused the initial gag order. The court suggested on Thursday that he might extend the order to include the attorneys.
"Sometimes I think there's a bit of misogyny in you referring to my female principal law clerk," the judge suggested. This was followed by Trump's other attorney Alina Habba springing to her co-counsel's defense.
"I assure you that’s not the issue," Habba said, referring to the accusation of misogyny.
Kise and Habba maintained that the clerk was biased against them because of the notes she allegedly wrote to the judge.
Engoron stated that it is common practice for defense attorneys to exchange notes to one another, and that he had the "absolute" right to confer with and defend his team.
On Oct. 19, when Habba was missing from court, Kise had a heated argument with Greenfield and the attorney general's counsel Colleen Faherty.
The argument took place in a sidebar, a private meeting between the attorneys and the court. The majority of their talk was muffled, but the attorney general's counsel's statement to Kise resounded across the courtroom.
The narrative, in which Kise dismissed Greenfield's query, questioned Faherty's IQ, which he later apologized for, something that was reported by multiple news agencies.
Kise denied the judge's claims that he was sexist by pointing out that he is the father of a girl who is 17 years old.
The Trump attorney continued by saying he needed to document his claims of prejudice because he felt like he had "two adversaries." Before the trial, Engoron had sanctioned Trump's lawyers, including Kise, for filing motions that he had rejected and called "borderline frivolous."