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Letter Containing White Powder Sent To Judge Who Oversaw Trump Fraud Trial

An envelope filled with white powder that was sent to the judge who oversaw former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial was discovered Wednesday, and another was received this week at the office building used by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Authorities said two court staffers were exposed to the powder as they screened Judge Arthur Engoron’s mail at his Manhattan chambers. Some of the powder fell out of the letter and onto a staffer’s pants, prompting the closure of the courthouse office where mail is screened. Officials later determined the powder was harmless.

The judge never came into contact with the piece of mail, which was addressed to him in a standard business envelope.

Another envelope containing an unidentified powder was delivered Tuesday to James’ office in Albany, The New York Times reported. It, too, was determined to be harmless.

Judge Arthur Engoron listens on Jan. 11 to closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Judge Arthur Engoron listens on Jan. 11 to closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. SETH WENIG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Engoron ordered Trump and his Trump Organization associates to pay more than $350 million on Feb. 16 as part of a civil fraud case brought by James, who later said that with interest, the penalty topped $450 million. The former president regularly attacked both the judge and the attorney general, lambasting the investigating as another political witch hunt against him.

Many of those who have moved to hold Trump legally accountable for his actions have faced threats and intimidation for their work. Officials responded to a bomb threat at Engoron’s home in January, and his staff have regularly been subject to harassment and threatening phone calls, according to The Associated Press.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the federal insurrection case against Trump in Washington, D.C., was subjected to a so-called swatting call after an unidentified person made a fake emergency complaint.

The letters were received the same week that a hazardous materials team was sent to the Florida home of Donald Trump Jr. The former president’s son opened a letter with an unidentified white powder inside that was later determined to be harmless.

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