Trump has finally taken the stand in his New York City fraud trial. But things aren’t looking good from the bench.
Because the judge made a stunning courtroom threat to Donald Trump that you have to see.
The Manhattan judge presiding over Donald Trump’s $250 million lawsuit case threatening his New York real estate business threatened to throw the former president out of court Monday if he didn’t stop delivering speeches from the witness stand.
Trump, 77, began his evidence in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday morning, frequently giving longwinded replies to what Justice Arthur Engoron described as simple “yes or no questions.”
“We got another speech,” Engoron once told Trump’s lawyers.
“I beseech you to control him if you can. If you can’t, I will,” the judge continued.
“I will excuse him and use every negative inference that I can.”
The atmosphere in the Lower Manhattan courtroom was hostile from the start of Trump’s testimony, with the Republican presidential front-runner for 2024 interjecting his thoughts on the issue several times.
Engoron claimed early on that Kevin Wallace, a lawyer with New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office, which is prosecuting Trump, was “being very patient” despite some of Trump’s evasive replies.
When Wallace inquired if Trump’s 2014 “statement of financial condition” was “true and accurate,” Trump, who was dressed in a dark blue suit and light blue tie, said, “I hope so.”
According to the AG’s lawsuit, from 2011 to 2021, Trump exaggerated his assets on these financial statements by billions of dollars every year in order to gain an advantage on loan and insurance terms.
Trump gave a range of answers when grilled about the statements — including, “Well, let’s see,” and later, “I guess so. I can’t answer that” — which the judge said were unresponsive.
Trump made a sarcastic expression and squinted at the judge at one point, stating Engoron “always rules against me.”
“You can attack me or do whatever you want, but just answer the questions,” the judge snapped back.
“I’m elected to move things along faster,” Engoron continued. “Please answer your questions, no speeches.”
The judge presiding over the case told the former president’s attorneys to “control your client.”
“This is not a political rally,” the jurist added. “I have asked the witness several times to answer the question.”
“We’ll be here all day” if Trump continues at this pace, the exasperated judge said.
Alina Habba, Trump’s lawyer, said that her client should be able to offer extended answers like Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney and “fixer” who testified against his former longtime employer two weeks ago. Wallace, according to Habba, should ask “better questions.”
Engoron, on the other hand, yelled at Habba to “sit down.”
Trump then interjected: “This is a very unfair trial, very unfair. And I hope the public is watching.”
When Wallace questioned Trump about the $550 million assessment on his soaring Financial District property at 40 Wall St. on a 2014 statement, the GOP presidential candidate indicated he believed it was worth much more.
“That building, you just look at it, and you say it’s worth a lot more than $550 million,” Trump said, suggesting the prosecutor “pull up a picture” of the building.
The AG’s office did not produce a photograph of the structure.
During one diatribe, the real estate tycoon also stated why he believes his 2014 financial file underestimated his holdings.
“The statement is much less valuable in terms of the dollar amount compared to the actuality of the worth,” Trump said, adding to Wallace: “It was the opposite of your case.”
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