Former President Donald Trump was told not to make “speeches” soon after taking the stand Monday to testify during his New York civil fraud trial.
Judge Arthur Engoron reminded the former president to stay on topic and told his lawyer “this is not a political rally,” according to The Hill. His sons and co-defendants, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., testified in the trial last week.
“I’m sure the judge will rule against me because he always rules against me,” Trump said in response to a question about his role in preparing financial statements, according to CNN.
“You can attack me, you can do whatever you want, but answer the question,” Engoron said, per the outlet.
Judge Arthur Engoron ruled before the trial started that Trump and his business exaggerated his net worth and assets, deceiving banks and insurance companies. Democratic Attorney General Letita James, who brought the case against Trump, is seeking to prevent him from doing business in the state and secure $250 million in damages.
Trump argued during his testimony that the New York Attorney General’s office underestimated Mar-a-Lago’s value. He said the value of his “brand” alone would have increased the value of his properties, according to The Hill.
“If I wanted to build up the statement, like you said I did before you found out just how rich we are, I would’ve added brand value here and I would’ve increased it by tens of millions of dollars,” Trump said, per CNN.
Engoron told Trump’s lawyer Chris Kise to “control” his client.
“I would think, respectfully — of all witnesses — your honor would want to hear everything this witness has to say,” Kise said, per The Hill. Engoron responded that he did “not want to hear everything this witness has to say.”
“I beseech you to control him if you can,” Ergoron said, according to CNN. “If you can’t I will. I will I excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.”
Trump also said during testimony that the trial was “very unfair.”
“I hope the public is watching,” Trump said, per The Hill.
Trump Jr. testified Thursday that he relied on the company’s accountants, according to CBS News.
“These people had an incredible, intimate knowledge and I relied on them,” he said, per the outlet.
Engoron issued a gag order against Trump early October after he made a post on Truth Social referring to Allison Greenfield, Engoron’s clerk, as the “girlfriend” of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Since then, he’s issued $5,000 and $10,000 fines against Trump for violating the order and expanded it to prevent his attorneys from making comments referring to “confidential communications” between him and his staff.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
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