Former President Donald Trump attacked Judge Arthur Engoron, the judge overseeing his civil case, during a lunch break following morning opening statements. Trump accused Engoron of being a “Democrat” and “an operative,” and called the case against him a “disgrace.”
He also targeted New York Attorney General Letitia James for “going after me him instead of violent crime.”
Expressing frustration, Trump predicted a lengthy trial with a judge he believed had already formed an opinion. He contended that the case focused on banks that were not defrauded but had received their money back, contrasting it with his claimed victimization.
“We’re going to be here for months with a judge that already made up his mind. It’s ridiculous,” Trump said.
“They waste their time with this, with banks that were very happy that got all their money back. They weren’t defrauded. I’ve been defrauded,” he added.
Trump’s verbal assault on Engoron followed the judge countering attacks from Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, against Attorney General Letitia James. Habba had criticized James for campaigning to “get Trump.”
Engoron, who had recently ruled Trump and co-defendants liable for fraud, emphasized that the case’s dismissal attempt as a “witch hunt” had been rejected.
“I denied that,” Engoron remarked, adding that the ruling was affirmed by a New York appellate court. “So Ms. James’ motivations are no longer at issue in this case, are they?”
During the engagement, Habba insisted that the Trump Organization relied on Mazars, Trump’s former accounting firm, while Engoron cited an accounting disclaimer that implied dependence on the Trump Organization.
Trump also faces two federal criminal cases initiated by a special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland. However, Trump baselessly claimed the Justice Department’s involvement in cases brought by local district attorneys in Manhattan and Fulton County.
When asked about returning to the courtroom after lunch, Trump responded with a tentative “probably.”