Trump returns to New York fraud trial as testimonies approach conclusion


Washington, United States: After a month of criticizing the proceedings from afar, former President Donald Trump returned to his civil business fraud trial as a spectator on Thursday.

With the testimony of more than two months, the Republican presidential candidate for 2024 arrived to hear an accounting professor speak about financial issues relevant to the case.

Trump plans to testify for the second time on Monday.

While campaigning to retake the designation of President and fight four criminal charges, Trump is focusing heavily on the New York lawsuit. Outside the courtroom, he’s been a dissatisfied bystander, a combative witness, and a heated speaker, as reported by Associated Press

On Thursday, on his way into court Trump said ,“This is a witch hunt, and it’s a very corrupt trial.”

This case was putting his net worth on trials, probing his real estate empire, and threatening to blacklist him from doing business in his home state.

In the claim, New York Attorney General Letitia James pointed finger at Trump, his corporation and some official of defrauding banks and insurers by giving them with financial statement that overstate the value of trademark properties such as his trump tower penthouse and mar-a-Lago, the Florida club where he currently resides.

The statement was submitted to assist secure arrangements, such as loans with low interest rates available to the ultra-wealthy, and certain loans required fresh statements every year.

Trump denies any acquisition against him and claimed that the figures in the statements understated his wealth. He had repeatedly minimized the value for the documents in closing agreements, stating that lenders and others should do their own evaluations. And he argued that James and Judge Arthur Engoron, both Democrats, abused their power in the case.

General Letitia James | Credits: Reuters

Trump has frequently complained about the case on his social media platform.

Former President, while going to court in person was provided with the microphone – in fact, many of them, thanked Press camera as they were positioned in the corridor. He often stops into and out of the proceedings, which cameras didn’t record.

When Engoron ruled Trump had breached a gag order that forbids trail participants from publicly commenting on court officials, he penalized him $10,000 on October 26. Trump’s lawyers are appealing the gag order.

James has not gone unchallenged, frequently — but not on Thursday — showing up to court himself when Trump is there and making her own statements on social media and on the courtroom steps. Lawyers in the case have been instructed not to make press remarks in the hallway, but the former president has been given permission to do so.

“Here’s a fact: Donald Trump has engaged in years of financial fraud. Here’s another fact: When you break the law, there are consequences,” her office wrote this week on X, formerly Twitter.

While the non-jury trial is taking place, Engoron has already determined that Trump and the other defendants committed fraud. He ordered that a receiver take charge of some of Trump’s properties, but an appeals court has stayed that decision for the time being.

During the trial, James is seeking more than $300 million in fines and a ban on Trump and the other defendants conducting business in New York.

It was unclear when the testimony will conclude, although it is likely before Christmas. Closing arguments are slated for January, and Engoron hopes to reach a verdict by the end of the month.