Former US President, Donald Trump on Monday, November 6, blasted the judge presiding over the $250 million civil fraud trial that threatens his family’s business empire.
It was Trump’s most dramatic display of anger from the witness stand.
Standing at the witness stand, Trump railed at length against Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, saying he was biased againt him.punctuated by personal jabs at a judge he said was biased against him and at the state attorne
Trump called Letitia James’ civil trial “election interference” while invoking the bogeyman of urban crime.
”I think this case is a disgrace. Many people are leaving New York because [of] exactly this kind of thinking,” he said.
He griped about “everybody being killed on the streets of New York” while James was “sitting here” in court.
“We sit here all day–-it’s election interference, because you want to keep me in the courthouse!” he added
Trump then said “I want a jury.”
“She sued me under a statute that doesn’t allow it’s a jury,” he continued, saying shortly thereafter, “It’s an unfair witch hunt.”
The rant came after questioning from a lawyer for New York Attorney General Letitia James, who accuses Trump, his two adult sons and his company of falsely inflating the values of his assets for financial perks.
James seeks to permanently bar Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump from running a business in the Empire State because, she says, they have engaged in years of financial fraud.
Her lawsuit alleges that the Trumps intentionally misstated the values of his assets on financial statements to falsely inflate Trump’s net worth and obtain tax benefits and better loan and insurance terms.
Trump also blasted James during his rant, calling her a “political hack” and other insults.
In his opening minutes on the witness stand, Trump lashed out at the lawyer questioning him and his other Democratic antagonists, calling them “all haters.”
He also said Engoron “always rules against me,” prompting the judge to respond that the comment “isn’t true.”
At times, Engoron seemed frustrated by Trump’s testimony and his attorneys’ interruptions. He repeatedly warned Trump to answer questions directly and not give “speeches,” and warned the defense team that Trump’s outbursts could weaken his legal case.
“This is a very unfair trial,” Trump said at one point.
Trump’s anger was visible before he entered the courtroom, when he repeated his claim that the trial was a form of “election interference” conspiracy aimed at undermining his 2024 presidential campaign.
“It’s a very sad situation for our country,” Trump told reporters before heading inside the courtroom.
“At the end of the day, the only thing that matters are the facts,” James said before entering the courthouse Monday morning. “And numbers, my friends, don’t lie.”
The witness stand is a rare position for the former president and current front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
Trump insists the financial statements at the heart of the case were never meant to be definitive.
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“My worth is far greater than on financial statements, plus they contain a full disclaimer clause telling readers of this information to do their own due diligence,” Trump posted on Truth Social on Nov. 2.