Donald Trump stormed out of his New York civil fraud trial Wednesday after being called to the stand for a surprise hearing in which the judge scolded him as “not credible” — and fined him $10,000 for breaching a gag order by maligning the court’s lead law clerk.“Don’t do it again, or it will be worse,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron chastised Trump, 77, after the ex-president got off the stand and walked back to the defense table, slouching with his head tilted down.During the dramatic three-minute hearing, Trump denied he was speaking about Engoron’s law clerk when he griped to reporters earlier in the day that “a person who is very partisan” was sitting “alongside” the judge – who is deciding the $250 million fraud case that threatens The Donald’s New York real estate empire.Trump had already been warned twice and fined $5,000 about making public attacks about the judge’s top law clerk Allison Greenfield, whom he disparaged near at the start of the trial in a since-deleted post on Truth Social.“Did you say, ‘This judge is a very partisan judge with a person who is very partisan sitting alongside of him’?” the judge asked Trump after calling him to the stand when court resumed following the lunch break.Trump replied “yes” and claimed that he was actually speaking about his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen – who was cross-examined Wednesday by his new personal attorney, Alina Habba, about his testimony Tuesday that Trump had “tasked” him to exaggerate the value of his assets on financial documents.But Engoron wasn’t buying it. Greenfield sits directly next to Engoron, on the judge’s right, while Cohen had been sitting on the witness stand, a few more feet away on the judge’s left, and separated from the judge by a wooden barrier.“You sure you didn’t mean the person on the other side, my principal law clerk?” Engoron probed during the 2:30 p.m. hearing.“Yes, I’m sure,” Trump insisted.He then said that Greenfield – whom he’d baselessly called New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s “girlfriend” in his post — was “maybe unfair,” before adding, “I think she’s very biased against us.”The judge excused Trump from the stand, and the 45th president said, “Thank you” before slowly walking back to the defense table.“I find the witness is not credible,” Engoron declared moments later — imposing the fine and finding that Trump had in fact breached the gag order.Around an hour later, a fuming Trump stood up and stormed out of the courtroom — in a move that appeared to surprise his own lawyers — after the judge declined his legal team’s bid to toss the case in light of Cohen admitting that Trump had not explicitly “directed” him to inflate the value of his assets.“Unbelievable,” Trump muttered to himself as he stood up and walked out of the room, as US Secret Service agents scrambled to keep up with him and his son, Eric Trump, followed close behind.“Unbelievable,” Trump said a second time on his way out.After Trump left the room, Cohen, 57, told the court that the former president “speaks like a mob boss” and had strongly implied that he and former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg were meant to manipulate the filings to reach Trump’s desired inflated totals.“He tells you what he wants without specifically telling you,” Cohen said after lawyers from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office asked him to clarify his testimony. “We understood what he wanted.”Engoron has already found Trump liable for inflating the value of his wealth and canceled the 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner’s New York business licenses, which could hamper Trump’s ability to operate in the Empire State.The judge said Wednesday that Trump’s bid to throw out the AG’s remaining claims was “absolutely denied” — in part because Cohen is not considered a “key witness” and the suit includes lots of other files and testimony as evidence.“This case has evidence, credible or not, all over the place,” said Engoron, adding: “There’s enough evidence to fill this courtroom.” Trump told reporters on his way out of court that the case should be thrown out because of Cohen’s history as a “liar.”“He said, ‘I lied.’ numerous times,” Trump said. “And then he said, as per the best television show you’ll ever imagine, he said, me, ‘I did not ask him to manipulate figures.’ That should be the end of the case,” Trump added, before leaving in his motorcade.Cohen meanwhile told reporters that Trump looked like a “defeated man” at the defense table. “I saw somebody who knows it’s the end of the Trump Organization,” he said.The trial is set to continue Thursday morning when another witness will be called by the AG’s office. Trump is not expected to be in attendance.
26 Ekim 2023 - 01:55
Trump storms out of courtroom after judge calls him to the stand, fines him $10K for violating gag order
Donald Trump stormed out of his New York civil fraud trial Wednesday after being called to the stand for a surprise hearing in which the judge scolded him as “not credible” — and fined …
26 Ekim 2023 - 01:55