Trump trial judge staff opens an envelope with a powdery substance after $454 million verdict

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Trump trial judge staff opens an envelope with a powdery substance after $454 million verdict
Donald Trump at his civil fraud trial in New York, and the trial judge, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron.Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images, left. Jeenah Moon-Pool/Getty Images, right.
  • The judge who oversaw Trump's New York civil fraud case was sent a powdery substance.
  • The Wednesday incident comes just days after Justice Arthur Engoron finalized his judgment in the case.
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The judge who oversaw Donald Trump's New York civil fraud case — slamming the former president, his two eldest sons, and The Trump Organization with a whopping $454 million judgment earlier this month — was sent an envelope containing a powdery substance days after finalizing his decision.

Court staffers opened the envelope, which was addressed to Justice Arthur Engoron, on Wednesday morning and discovered the powder, prompting emergency services to be dispatched, a representative for the New York State Unified Court System told Business Insider.

Staff members who came into contact with the substance were isolated while emergency services tested the powder, spokesperson Al Baker said. Preliminary testing determined the substance was negative for hazardous substances.

"Justice Engoron had no exposure to the letter or the powdery substance," Baker said.

The incident comes not long after Engoron finalized his judgment in Trump's civil fraud case, giving the former president 30 days to fork over $454 million in fines or secure a bond for the total amount.

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That amount includes the $354 million penalty against Trump and his company, as well as nearly $100 million in pre-judgment interest. Trump is also accruing interest equal to $111,984 a day on the judgment, a spokesperson for Attorney General Letitia James said last week.

Engoron rejected Trump's attorneys' efforts to delay the start of the penalty last week.

The yearslong legal battle between Trump and James reached its conclusion earlier this month when Engoron castigated Trump, his two eldest sons, and former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg for more than a decade of "inflating asset values to make more money."

Trump is personally responsible for nearly $355 million in penalties, while Donald Trump Jr. And Eric Trump were each ordered to pay $4 million, and Weisselberg was saddled with a $1 million payment.

Engoran's verdict also bans Trump from operating a New York business for three years, jeopardizing Trump's role in his own business empire.

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On Wednesday, a New York appeals court judge largely shut down Trump's emergency appeal to pause Engoron's judgment, still requiring him to put up $454 million to prevent it from being enforced.

Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., also received a letter containing an unidentified white powder this week. ABC News cited sources familiar with the incident who said a hazmat team was dispatched to Trump Jr.'s Florida home after he received a suspicious piece of mail.

A spokesperson for Trump Jr. told the outlet that the test results came back inconclusive, but officials did not believe the substance was deadly.

Law enforcement is investigating both incidents.

Engoron has been the subject of threats before. Ahead of closing arguments in the trial, police responded to threats of multiple "fertilizer bombs" planted around the Long Island home.

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His top law clerk, Allison Greenfield, had also been the subject of numerous antisemitic and sexist threats from Trump supporters during the trial. Trump and his attorneys routinely attacked her, accusing her of persuading Engoron to make decisions biased against the former president, until Engoron issued a gag order.

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