So, the sun rose, the rooster crowed, and in an isolated incident of novel originality, Donald Trump was involved in a mishap – this time with the New York courts. Surprised? Me neither. However, this fresh fiasco is more peculiar than one could anticipate. The stakes are high, the plot is thicker than a reality TV-show, and the protagonist? Our very own Trump, armed with a Twitter account and a $5,000 fine.
According to the Associated Press, former President Trump had been graced with a $5,000 fine this Friday. And what might be the sin? Well, an offensive social media post aimed at a crucial court staffer in his New York civil fraud trial refused to conveniently disappear from his campaign website. Even though the judge had specifically ordered it to be binned.
Judge Arthur Engoron, presumably multitasking between maintaining law and order and babysitting certain adults, managed to steer clear of holding Trump in contempt for the incident. However, the judge retained his right to do so and further intensified the drama by hinting at the possibility of Trump’s future visits not being to rallies or golf courses, but to jail. Yes, you read it right. Jail, if he yet again decides to breach a gag order specifically designed to keep case participants from launching personal attacks at court staff.
In an incredible turn of events, Engoron mentioned in his written ruling that he was “way beyond the ‘warning’ stage,” suggesting that his patience with the former President’s antics is running thinner than the plot of a bad soap opera. However, the judge was considerate enough to fine Trump a mere $5,000, because, according to Trump’s lawyers, the retention of the offensive post on Trump’s campaign website was ‘inadvertent’. No red flags here, whatsoever.
Judge Engoron, whether from an innate sense of justice or from a growing exhaustion of Trump’s antics, firmly expressed his future stance. In his two-page order, Engoron wrote that future violations — accidental or not — would lead to severe sanctions. Including higher financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court, and (here’s the twist of our soap opera) possibly sending him to prison.
So be warned, dear former President Trump. Next time the court orders you to delete a tweet, it might be wise to take a break from golfing and make sure it’s deleted. Because Judge Engoron isn’t here to play games, and no one wants to jeopardize their chances in the 2024 campaign – or least of all, spend their days behind bars.
Meanwhile, let’s all sit back, grab some popcorn, and see how this thrilling drama unfolds. Because if anything, the recent turn of events ensures our politics stays as unpredictable and entertaining as ever.