Judge Arthur Engoron presides over the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump and his children at New York State Supreme Court in New York City on Nov. 13, 2023.
Erin Schaff | Getty Images
Police are investigating a swatting incident at the New York home of the judge set to hear closing arguments later Thursday morning in the business fraud trial of former President Donald Trump.
It is the second time in days that a swatting attempt has been made against a judge handling a case involving Trump. Swatting involves false claims of violence or other incidents at other people’s homes or businesses to get police to swarm those locations.
An email making a threat to the Long Island home of Judge Arthur Engoron was sent to a local newspaper, Nassau County Police told CNBC on Thursday morning.
The newspaper called police at 5:30 a.m. ET to relay the threat, police said.
Officers who responded to Engoron’s home did not find a threat to the judge at the residence.
The Daily Beast news outlet and NBC News reported that a bomb threat had been made against Engoron’s home, but a spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department would not confirm the nature of the threat to CNBC.
Closing arguments in Trump’s civil fraud trial are still set to begin at 10 a.m. ET in Manhattan Supreme Court despite the threat. Trump arrived at the court Thursday to attend as he had planned.
The threat came a day after Engoron denied a request by Trump’s lawyer to allow the former president to give some of the defense’s closing arguments.
The lawyer, Chris Kise, refused to confirm to Engoron that Trump would abide by restrictions the judge had set on what Trump could say during the closing.
On Sunday night, police and fire trucks responded to a false report of a shooting at the Washington, D.C., home of U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan. That judge is handling the case where Trump is charged with crimes related to his attempt to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election, and his incitement of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
On Christmas Day, Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith was the target of an attempted swatting. Smith, who lives in Maryland, is prosecuting Trump in the D.C. case that Chutkan is handling, and in another federal criminal case in Florida involving Trump’s retention of classified documents after leaving the White House.
Al Baker, a spokesman for the New York state court system, said he was aware of the threat against Engoron.
“Comprehensive security protocols have been in place around these court proceedings since the beginning and that continues,” Baker said. “Out of an abundance of caution and due to concerns for the safety of Justice Engoron, we are increasing those security protocols at this time.”
“We do expect to continue with the proceedings as planned,” Baker said.
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