Donald Trump testifies in New York fraud trial: Calls judge ‘hostile’, says he wants a jury and calls case a ‘disgrace’ as he ends appearance on the stand
Spread the love


Donald Trump concluded his bombshell fraud trial testimony on Monday with a parting shot at New York’s attorney general and by calling the case a ‘witch hunt’ overseen by a ‘hostile judge’.

The former president repeated criticisms he made earlier in the day and accused Attorney General Letitia James of spending her time watching his trial while people are being ‘murdered on the streets of New York’.

The 77-year-old went further and demanded a jury trial and said the case should be thrown out ‘immediately’ as he walked out of the courtroom.

When pressed about his finances, he said he had a net worth of $2.5 billion to guarantee a loan through Deutsche Bank and again said he worth billions more than what his financial statements showed.

The Republican frontrunner for president stepped down from the stand after a combative appearance where he frequently lost his temper and attacked Justice Arthur Engoron and AG James.

He called James a ‘hack’ who is going after him to help her political career and pointed at Engoron when describing him as a ‘fraud’.

His blockbuster testimony hitting back at allegations he inflated prices to save millions on loans lasted around four hours and included questions about his golf courses in Scotland and a triplex in Manhattan.

He also claimed Mar-a-Lago is worth ’50 to 100 times what the $ 18 million prosecutors claim and distanced himself from the financial statements at the center of the case. 

Engoron scolded him multiple times and threatened to throw him out of the court unless his lawyers got him under control. 

The next and the attorney general’s office’s final witness will be his daughter Ivanka Trump on Wednesday.  

Donald Trump concluded his bombshell fraud trial testimony on Monday with a parting shot at New York’s attorney general and labeled the case a ‘witch hunt’ with a ‘hostile judge’

Donald Trump concluded his bombshell fraud trial testimony on Monday with a parting shot at New York’s attorney general and labeled the case a ‘witch hunt’ with a ‘hostile judge’

Alina Habba said during legal arguments after the testimony that Trump's team will seek a mistrial in the case

Alina Habba said during legal arguments after the testimony that Trump’s team will seek a mistrial in the case

As he left the court, Trump said he believed his testimony went ‘very well’ – but insisted it was a ‘very sad day for America’ and called the $250 million fraud trial a ‘scam’.

He called the case a ‘scam’ that should have ‘never been brought’. 

‘It’s a case that should be dismissed immediately,’ he added. ‘The fraud was on behalf of the court. The court was the fraudster in this case.

‘I think this case is a disgrace,’ Trump also said in the final moments of testimony. ‘Many people are leaving New York because of this kind of thing.’

‘We stand here all day, and it’s election interference because you want to keep me in this courthouse all day long, and we have a very hostile judge,’ Trump said. He also complained that there is no jury in the case. 

‘I don’t have a jury. And I want a jury’, he added. 

Trump delivered his final attacks after more than an hour of questioning, which had been relatively calm compared to the fiery morning session.

His legal team did not cross-examine him. 

Kevin Wallace, a lawyer for James’ team, had shown the court several contracts signed by Trump to secure loans for his real estate ventures. 

Trump repeatedly confirmed that he had signed the papers and met the terms of the agreements.

Referring to one loan from Deutsche Bank for a project in Chicago, Trump said: ‘The bank was thrilled. The loan was paid off in full… The bank liked me very much.’

He repeated that the valuations he is accused of inflating are lower than the assets’ actual value. 

He said banks ‘got their money back’ and there were ‘no victims’ of the alleged fraud.

‘You have no case,’ said Trump. He also pointed again to the ‘disclaimer clause’, which he claimed also told banks to do their due diligence.

‘I think the statements were very good, somewhat conservative and sometimes very conservative. And they are protected, and so am I and everything in there by the disclaimer clause.’

Alina Habba, a member of his team of lawyers, said during legal arguments after the testimony that Trump’s team will seek a mistrial in the case.

Before the lunch break, Trump delivered a series of blistering attacks and James and the judge in his combative fraud trial testimony on Monday. 

He singled out James in the front row of the court, and accused her of being a ‘political hack’ who brought the case against him to help her failed bid to become New York governor.

Trump became animated and audibly frustrated as he attacked James and the judge during confrontations about the property values and net worth he is accused of inflating by billions.

He also pointed at Justice Arthur Engoron and berated him for calling him a ‘fraud’, even though he ‘didn’t know anything about me’.

‘He said I’m a fraud because I didn’t value my property correctly,’ Trump continued. ‘He’s the one who didn’t rule my property correctly.’ 

Trump also claimed the true fraud was ‘on behalf of the court’ and insisted he is worth ‘billions of dollars more’ than outlined in financial statements which he is accused of faking to inflate his net worth by as much as $6.3billion.

The confrontation dominated the second part of his testimony where Trump discussed the value of Mar-a-Lago and again tore into the people who had brought the case against him. 

He focused on Mar-a-Lago, which documents have claimed was worth upwards of $500 million, and insisted it is currently worth ‘between $1 billion and $1.5 billion’.

Before lunch, Trump delivered a series of blistering attacks on New York Attorney General Letitia James and the judge in his fraud trial as the fiery testimony continued on Monday morning

Before lunch, Trump delivered a series of blistering attacks on New York Attorney General Letitia James and the judge in his fraud trial as the fiery testimony continued on Monday morning 

The former president sits alongside his lawyers Christopher Kise (left) and Alina Habba (right). He was called as witness straight away and was sworn in after slamming the ‘political warfare’ against him that only takes place ‘in banana republics’

Trump does a zipped lips motion with his hands as he left the courtroom after a very tense first part of his testimony. He was warned not to talk about the case during the break

Trump does a zipped lips motion with his hands as he left the courtroom after a very tense first part of his testimony. He was warned not to talk about the case during the break 

Judge Engoron has previously said Mar-a-Lago was overvalued by ‘at least 2,300 percent’.

‘Either people are very stupid or there is a fraud. The fraud is on behalf of the court,’ Trump said of the judge’s decision:

‘I’m worth billions of dollars more than the financial statements,’ Trump insisted. ‘Anything that would be a little bit off would be non-material.’

Judge Engoron admonished the former president multiple times for not answering questions from prosecutor Kevin Wallace as tensions flared.  

Engoran also scolded him for an ‘irrelevant’ answer when he said one of his Scottish golf courses ‘may be the greatest in the world’ and said three times that Aberdeen was ‘the oil capital of Europe’. 

The opening hour of his testimony was marked by constant confrontations between the judge, Trump and his legal counsel about the former president’s lengthy answers to questions about his financial statements. 

‘You can attack me all you want, but just answer the question,’ Judge Engoran said after Trump railed against the ‘crazy’ trial.

The judge, who Trump has called a ‘wacko’, then said ‘this is not a political rally’ and told the defendant’s legal team to ‘have a talk with him’ to stop his outbursts. 

Addressing one of Trump’s lawyers he said: ‘I beseech you to control him if you can. If you can’t I will.’

He then threatened to throw the ex-president out of court. ‘I will excuse him and I will draw every negative inference that I can. Do you understand?’ Engoran stated.

Judge Engoron also told one of Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba to ‘sit down’ when she insisted the court should listen to his long answers.

‘No, I’m not here to hear what he has to say. I’m here to hear him answer questions,’ the judge said. 

Trump did flash a grin when Chris Kise, one of his lawyer’s, called him the future president of the United States in reference to a New York Times poll that has him leading Joe Biden in five swing states.

‘This is a very unfair trial, very, very, and I hope the public is watching’ Trump muttered during one of the confrontations.

At one point sparks started to fly as Trump lashed out at Judge Engoron for ‘always ruling against me’. He added that attorneys had been ‘coming at me from 15 different sides, all Democrats, all Trump-haters’

The confrontation began as Trump was responding to questions about his historical financial statements.  During one answer, the former president triggered a snigger from the press gallery as he branded the current proceedings a ‘crazy trial’. 

He then distanced himself from the financial statements in 2017 that are at the heart of the case, claiming he didn’t know about them and the banks didn’t care. 

Before entering the court, Trump said he had been put in a ‘very unfair situation’ in the trial and discussed the New York Times poll.

He also insisted Mar-a-Lago is worth ’50 to 100 times’ the $18million value prosecutors have determined, and claimed he is being targeted by people who ‘hate this country’. 

Trump is accused of dramatically inflating his net worth and the value of his properties by billions to save millions on bank loans and insurance. 

The frontrunner in the Republican presidential race also pointed at Justice Arthur Engoron and berated him for calling him a 'fraud', even though he 'didn't know anything about me'

The frontrunner in the Republican presidential race also pointed at Justice Arthur Engoron and berated him for calling him a ‘fraud’, even though he ‘didn’t know anything about me’

The opening hour of his testimony was marked by constant confrontations between the judge, Trump and his legal counsel about the former president¿s lengthy answers to questions about his financial statements

The opening hour of his testimony was marked by constant confrontations between the judge, Trump and his legal counsel about the former president’s lengthy answers to questions about his financial statements

The court sketch artist captured Trump leaning back in his chair and folding his arms during the contentious exchanges that dominated his appearance on the stand

The court sketch artist captured Trump leaning back in his chair and folding his arms during the contentious exchanges that dominated his appearance on the stand 

After entering the packed courtroom, New York state lawyer Wallace said: ‘The people call Donald J. Trump,’ 

He walked across the front of the judge’s bench towards the witness stand. Then he was asked to ‘solemnly swear and affirm’ to tell the truth during the testimony and responded: ‘I do.’

Trump then confirmed his name and said he lives in Florida before Wallace’s questioning began.

In what has become a staple of his appearance in the New York courtroom, Trump addressed the press before walking inside. 

‘So while Israel is being attacked, while Ukraine is being attacked, while inflation is eating our country alive, I’m down here,’ he said.

Trump was warned to control himself on the stand as he slammed prosecutors and Democrats as 'haters' and claimed the judge always rules 'against' him

Trump was warned to control himself on the stand as he slammed prosecutors and Democrats as ‘haters’ and claimed the judge always rules ‘against’ him

Judge Arthur Engoron admonished the former president multiple times for not answering questions from prosecutor Kevin Wallace as tensions flared almost immediately after he was sworn in as a witness on Monday morning

Judge Arthur Engoron admonished the former president multiple times for not answering questions from prosecutor Kevin Wallace as tensions flared almost immediately after he was sworn in as a witness on Monday morning

‘These are all political opponent attacks ads by the Biden administration, their poll numbers are terrible.

‘The New York Times came back with a poll that I’m leading all over the place, but it’s a very unfair situation.’

Earlier on Monday he said on Truth Social that the case is a way for President Joe Biden to ‘cheat’ in the 2024 presidential election – and took jabs at both Engoron and James for ‘election interference.’

James said ‘the numbers don’t lie’ when speaking about his business just moments before the court appearance began.

She persistently said she would ‘get’ Trump during her campaign to be the state’s attorney general. 

‘Donald Trump repeatedly misrepresented and inflated the value of his assets,’ she said on Monday morning. 

‘And before he takes the stand, I am certain that he will engage in name-calling and taunts and race-baiting and call this a witch hunt. 

‘But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters are the facts and the numbers and numbers my friends don’t lie.’

Photographers file into the New York courtroom to capture Trump at the defense table ahead of his testimony

Photographers file into the New York courtroom to capture Trump at the defense table ahead of his testimony 

The 77-year-old said he had been put in a ‘very unfair situation’ in the trial and discussed the New York Times poll showing him beating Joe Biden in five key swing states  

The 77-year-old said he had been put in a ‘very unfair situation’ in the trial and discussed the New York Times poll showing him beating Joe Biden in five key swing states

Trump opts for a low-key entrance into the court, walking behind a city van into the building in downtown Manhattan

Trump opts for a low-key entrance into the court, walking behind a city van into the building in downtown Manhattan 

He was spotted carrying a bundle of legal papers as he made his way into a back entrance

He was spotted carrying a bundle of legal papers as he made his way into a back entrance

Anti-Trump protesters demanding he is removed from the ballot through the 14th amendment gather outside the New York court

Anti-Trump protesters demanding he is removed from the ballot through the 14th amendment gather outside the New York court

Trump gives a thumbs up as he leaves Trump Tower for the trip to downtown Manhattan

Trump gives a thumbs up as he leaves Trump Tower for the trip to downtown Manhattan 

Alina Habba, a member of his legal team, followed him into the motorcade in preparation for the testimony

Alina Habba, a member of his legal team, followed him into the motorcade in preparation for the testimony 

The appearance may also mark the beginning of what will likely be a defining feature of the 2024 election if Trump becomes his party’s nominee: a major candidate, on trial, using the witness stand as a campaign platform – or at least attempting to – as he eyes a return to the White House while facing multiple criminal indictments.

Trump’s appearance on Monday comes after his two eldest sons also took the stand last week. 

Donald Trump Jr. testified last Wednesday and Eric Trump on Friday. Both are executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization.

Ivanka Trump, the ex-president’s eldest daughter, is slated to take the stand on Wednesday.

Trump has repeatedly blasted Judge Engoron by calling him a ‘wacko’ and a ‘Democratic operative’.

Also on his social media platform, Trump again claimed that Attorney General James is engaging in ‘ELECTION INTERFERENCE!’ along with a video montage of her railing against the ex-president.

He insists that her actions against him are politically motivated because she doesn’t want him to be president again.

Trump once took the stand – unexpectedly and briefly – after he was accused of violating a partial gag order. Trump denied violating the rules, but Judge Engoron disagreed and fined him anyway. 



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *