In a fiery start to the civil fraud trial led by New York Attorney General Letitia James against former President Donald Trump, Trump called for the disbarment of New York Judge Arthur Engoron, the presiding judge over the case. The trial, which began on Monday, is expected to stretch over three months.
Trump’s presence in the courtroom was accompanied by a series of scathing remarks aimed at Judge Engoron, Attorney General Leticia James, and the trial process itself. The former president voiced his concerns both before the trial commenced, during the lunch break, and at the end of the day’s proceedings.
Central to Trump’s grievances was his assertion that Engoron should be “disbarred” for his actions during the case. Trump went on to claim that some individuals believed the judge could potentially face criminal charges for his alleged interference with an election, branding it a “disgrace.”
In his address to the media, Trump referred to Engoron as a “Democrat judge from the clubhouses,” insinuating a political bias in the judge’s decisions.
He vehemently criticized the trial as a continuation of what he referred to as “the single greatest witch hunt of all time.” He also accused Judge Engoron of ruling that the properties in question were worth only a fraction of their actual value, a move Trump found deeply problematic.
Trump calls today's trial a witch hunt, saying it's election interference.
Do you agree? pic.twitter.com/V9Vj6XxEg8
— TaraBull (@TaraBull808) October 2, 2023
Furthermore, Trump argued that the trial was a diversion from more pressing issues such as rising violent crime in New York, stating, “They ought to look for the murderers and killers that are all over New York killing people. And the violent crime that’s being committed in our city and our state is disgraceful.”
Last week, Engoron issued a rare summary judgment in favor of Attorney General James before Trump’s defense team could present their case. The judge imposed sanctions and fines on Trump’s attorneys for what he deemed “frivolous” motions to dismiss, a move that the former president and his legal team vehemently contested.
The heart of the case revolves around allegations that Trump inflated the values of his real estate properties to secure loans from banks. While Engoron supported these claims, Trump’s attorneys argued that the banks had conducted their own due diligence investigations before granting the loans, and no bank had incurred losses as a result.
The presidential candidate is set to make an appearance for the second day of trial on Tuesday.