Trump lashes out at judge in closing arguments of civil fraud trial

After Kise failed to accept the conditions, Engoron wrote in an email Wednesday that he assumed Trump wouldn’t speak during the presentation.

On Thursday, however, after Kise and other Trump lawyers finished presenting their closing arguments, Kise said Trump wanted to participate.

Engoron asked Trump on the spot to agree to limit his remarks to the evidence and the law, saying, “Do you promise to just comment on the law and the facts … and not go outside of it?”

Trump responded not by agreeing, but by retorting, “Well, I think this case goes outside of the law and the facts,” and proceeded to launch into some of his typical criticisms of the case by calling it a “political witch hunt.”

The lawsuit, brought by New York Attorney General Tish James, accuses Trump of fraudulently inflating the value of his real estate properties. Engoron
has already ruled that Trump is liable for fraud
, and he is expected to rule soon on James’ request for
$370 million in penalties

“When you say, ‘Don’t go outside of these things,’” Trump told Engoron, “we have a situation where I’m an innocent man. I’ve been persecuted by someone running for office,” he said, referring to James, who briefly ran for governor in 2021.

“This is a fraud on me,” Trump told Engoron. “What’s happened here, sir, is a fraud on me.”

After Engoron warned that Trump was running up against a deadline for a planned break in the proceedings, Trump turned his attention to the judge himself, whom the former president has long criticized publicly, including during
his testimony in the trial

“You have your own agenda, I certainly understand that,” Trump said. “You can’t listen for more than one minute.”

“Mr. Kise, please control your client,” Engoron urged. Moments later, at the time of the scheduled break, Engoron cut off Trump, telling his attorney, “Mr. Kise, this could have been done differently.”

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