Trump slams judge as he returns to New York fraud trial

Real Estate

Former US President and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump holds a campaign event during a Club 47 USA event at Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on October 11, 2023. 
Giorgio Viera | Afp | Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump returned to court in Manhattan on Tuesday to attend the ongoing civil fraud trial against him and his company.

Outside of the courtroom at Manhattan Supreme Court, Trump slammed the judge who will decide the case.

“He’s a Democrat judge, he’s very liberal, and I believe he’s under a lot of pressure,” Trump said in a hallway outside the courtroom.

Trump also repeated attacks against New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the case accusing Trump, two of his adult sons, the Trump Organization and others of a yearslong pattern of business fraud.

James seeks around $250 million in damages, and a court order permanently barring Trump and other defendants from running a business in New York.

Both James and Trump were present in court Tuesday morning.

Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump and others in the case are liable for fraud. The judge’s decision revoked the defendants’ New York business certificates and ordered an independent receiver to oversee their dissolution. A New York appeals court has temporarily paused the cancellation of those certificates.

The trial centers on James’ six remaining claims in the case, which is being conducted without a jury. Engoron will deliver verdicts in the case himself.

Trump’s remarks outside court came after he slammed Engoron as a “Radical Left Democrat” in a social media post Tuesday morning.

“America cannot let this happen. Our legal system is corrupt and broken!” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

Trump had initially planned to be present at the trial this week for the testimony of Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer and fixer.

Cohen’s testimony before Congress in 2019, in which he alleged that the Trump Organization misleadingly changed the values of key real estate assets for financial benefits, prompted James to launch a probe into Trump and his business.

But Cohen’s expected appearance in the trial was delayed because of what he called a “pre-existing medical condition that impedes my ability to testify.”

“Rest assured, I will testify at the earliest opportunity,” Cohen said Saturday in a statement to NBC News.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in the case. He repeatedly criticized James, the judge and the proceedings generally when he was in court for part of the first week of the trial in early October.

During that stretch, Engoron imposed a partial gag order on Trump after the former president sent a social media post attacking the judge’s law clerk.

Engoron ordered Trump and others in the case not to speak publicly about any member of his staff.

Trump has since been hit with another partial gag order in a federal criminal case in Washington, D.C., where he faces charges related to his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.

Trump, who is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, left the New York civil trial after two-and-a-half days, after complaining that he was “stuck here” instead of campaigning.

He is not required to attend the trial, which is expected to last until late December.

Trump in the Truth Social post Tuesday morning repeated his claim that he has been unfairly denied a jury in the case.

“I can’t have a JURY and am being viciously tried under a Statute that has never been used before. The Radical Left Democrat Judge, WHO IS HIGHLY POLITICAL, serves as Judge, Jury, and everything else,” he said.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

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