Fact Check: Trump Judge Engoron Was NOT Drinking From A Tanqueray Gin Bottle During A Hearing

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Trump Judge Engoron Was NOT Drinking From A Tanqueray Gin Bottle During A Hearing Bottled Water

Was "Justice Engoron," the judge who is overseeing former President Donald Trump's civil trial, drinking from a Tanqueray gin bottle during a hearing? No, that's not true: The bottle seen on Judge Arthur Engoron's bench is a bottle of Mountain Valley Spring water, as sold at Walmart and other outlets. The label and lid on the bottle match the green glass bottled water, not a bottle of Tanqueray gin.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) where it was published by the account Judicial Protest on X, formerly known as Twitter, on October 2, 2023. The caption read:

Opening statements took a turn this morning after a video appeared online last week garnering over 1 million views showing Justice Engoron drinking from a Tanqueray gin bottle during a hearing. Trump's attorneys began today's civil fraud trial by asking Justice Engoron: "What's in the bottle?" #Trump #MommyHabba #TrumpCivilFraudTrial

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2023-10-03 at 4.35.33 PM.png

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Oct 3 23:00:49 2023 UTC)

The JudicialProtest account posted again about the Judge Arthur Engoron (archived here), who is presiding over Trump's civil trial (archived here), and a bottle, with this claim (archived here) calling the bottle it a "40oz" -- a nickname for a large bottle of malt liquor or beer -- and referring to the him as a "Hobo Judge."

This video does not show the judge drinking from a bottle of Tanqueray gin or placing one on his desk.

A screenshot from a video from the court proceedings posted on the Fox News verified Instagram account on October 2, 2023 shows Judge Engoron sitting on the bench with the bottle to his left, which matches the image on the X post. The post on X has a doctored chyron purporting to be a news report that reads, "WHAT'S IN JUSTICE ENGORON'S BOTTLE?" with the NBC peacock logo askew on the right side of the screen.

Here is an image from the Fox video, matched to the image on the X post, alongside an image of the Mountain Valley Spring Water bottles found for sale on Walmart.com:


(Source: Lead Stories artwork Tue Oct 3 23:12:32 2023 UTC left: FOX image, center: bottle image from X post, right:Walmart.com image of Mountain Valley water bottle)

Tanqueray gin has a white screw cap, a red wax seal at the top, and a glued-on white label that wraps around the bottle, unlike the bottle in the courtroom, which has a painted-on label. Here is what a bottle of Tanqueray Gin looks like on the website of Haskells, a wine and spirits retailer:

Screen Shot 2023-10-03 at 2.33.44 PM.png

(Source: Haskell's website created Tue Oct 3 23:28:43 2023 UTC)


  • 2023-10-04T00:47:11Z 2023-10-04T00:47:11Z
    Updated to remove repeated photo.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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