The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Police respond to bomb threat at home of judge in Trump N.Y. fraud trial

Judge Arthur Engoron attends the closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on Thursday, after a bomb threat at his home in the early morning. (Shannon Stapleton/Pool/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
2 min

New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron received a bomb threat to his Long Island home early Thursday, hours before closing arguments were set to begin in the $370 million civil fraud trial against Donald Trump, his company and others, court spokesman Al Baker said.

“We have been at a heightened security posture for the entirety of the proceedings and that continues,” Baker said. “Additional layers of security will be added out of concern for Justice Engoron.”

The Nassau County Police Department confirmed that they were investigating a “swatting” incident that occurred about 5:30 a.m. Thursday at a residence in Great Neck, N.Y., but declined to provide further details.

The closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil case moved forward as planned Thursday, with only a slight delay. Engoron entered the courtroom minutes after the proceedings were scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., and opened by expressing gratitude for the many months of work the attorneys on the case have done. He did not address the bomb threat to his home.

Live updates: Closing arguments in Trump’s New York civil fraud trial

Thursday’s proceeding is expected to be the last in front of Engoron, who will decide the case alone because there is no jury. His decision will be delivered in written form, possibly by the end of the month.

The threat to Engoron comes amid an increase in attacks — threatened and real — on public officials from both sides of the aisle, including a spate of similar incidents of swatting, in which hoax calls for help trigger large law-enforcement responses, often to the target’s home. Bomb threats last week prompted evacuations from more than a dozen state capitols, courthouses and other government buildings around the country.

Tanya S. Chutkan, the federal judge overseeing Trump’s election subversion case in D.C., was the target of a swatting incident over the weekend. The Maine secretary of state and the Colorado Supreme Court, both of which recently deemed Trump ineligible to be on the primary ballot in their states because he engaged in an insurrection, received a surge of threats after being castigated by Trump in speeches and social media posts.

The bomb threat against Engoron is not the first time people connected to the case have been affected by threats. During the trial, the judge’s law clerk received a flood of threats from Trump supporters after the former president wrote a social media post about her. Engoron then imposed a gag order to prevent Trump from disparaging court staffers, and fined Trump twice totaling $15,000 for violating the order.