Trump warns judge ‘leave my children alone’ as Don Jr to testify in NY trial

‘Leave my children alone, Engoron. You are a disgrace to the legal profession!’ former president tells judge

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Wednesday 01 November 2023 13:46 GMT
Related video: Donald Trump reveals Melania ‘hates’ when he dances off stage

Donald Trump lashed out at the judge in his New York fraud trial, urging him to “leave my children alone” ahead of testimony by his sons Donald Jr and Eric Trump.

“This Rigged Trial, brought by the Racist New York State AG Letitia James before Trump and developer Hating Judge, Arthur Engoron, which should have never been brought in that the so-called STAR WITNESS, SleazeBag Lawyer (for many people) Michael Cohen, admitted last week on the stand that he LIED, and also that your favorite President, Donald J Trump, or anyone from the Trump Organization, NEVER TOLD HIM TO INFLATE VALUES ON FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, the opposite of what he told the AG in order to get this HOAX started,” Mr Trump wrote in a Truth Social rant published just before 2.30am ET in the early hours of Wednesday.

“Therefore, on that fact alone, this Fake Case should be dismissed,” Mr Trump argued. “Additionally, however, the Financial Statements Values are Conservative (LOW!), Mar-a-Lago is worth MUCH MORE than $18,000,000, there is a 100% Disclaimer Clause on the 1st page of the Statements, the Banks and Insurance Companies were paid in full, no defaults, they all made money, and there is no Victim (except me!).”

“Leave my children alone, Engoron. You are a disgrace to the legal profession!” Mr Trump concluded.

But Mr Trump wasn’t done.

Hours later, just before 7.45am ET, the ex-president went after Judge Engoron yet again, writing that he’s “a political hack who ruled against me before the trial even started. He is doing the dirty work for the Democrat Party”.

“I was not even given the option of a jury, This Rigged Case should have never been brought, but since it was, it should have been in the Commercial Division, but Engoron WOULD NOT LET GO OF IT,” he claimed. “He fought us, sanctioned us for no reason, fined us big money, never gave us even a one day delay.”

Mr Trump is known for using delaying tactics to attempt to grind his many legal cases to a halt.

“This is his big chance, and he was not going to let it go. In the meantime, they ‘lost’ their Star Witness, and my Financial Statements are GREAT!” Mr Trump asserted. “There was no fraud, so they are working with the corrupt AG whose campaign was ‘I will get Trump,’ to develop something, anything.”

“They even go back to 2014, past the Statute of Limitations, to look at a ‘low ball’ offer I made for the Buffalo Bills,” Mr Trump said of the upstate New York NFL team. “Someone else offered much more, so what? Now they come up with something called ‘disgorgement.’ I never even heard of the term. WITCH HUNT!!! ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!”

Mr Trump has often claimed, without much in the way of proof, that all negative stories and criticism he faces are politically motivated hit jobs.

When Mr Trump entered the White House in early 2017, he put his sons Donald Jr and Eric in charge of his real estate business. They are now scheduled to testify in a bench trial that looms over the future of the entire Trump Organization.

Donald Jr is set to testify on Wednesday with Eric following on Thursday. New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges in her lawsuit that Mr Trump and the leaders of his company, including Eric and Donald Jr, conspired to overstate his wealth to the tune of billions on financial statements handed to financial institutions to get favourable loans and deals.

Mr Trump attended the trial for the first three days of the proceedings last month and appeared for another four days during the last fortnight, but looking at his campaign schedule, it appears unlikely that he’ll watch his sons take the stand.

When attending, Mr Trump has taken to utilising the hallway outside the courtroom to complain about the process in front of TV cameras and the assembled press. He’s called the case a “sham”, a “scam”, and that it’s the “continuation of the single greatest witch hunt of all time”. He’s also used the setting to go after some of his perceived enemies and weigh in on the speaker’s race, backing the election of recently installed Speaker Mike Johnson, a hard-right Christian conservative who was essential to Mr Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election in the courts.

On two occasions, Mr Trump stepped over the line, prompting the judge to issue $15,000 in fines after the ex-president violated a gag order by making aggressive comments about a court staffer.

Mr Trump himself is set to testify on Monday with his daughter Ivanka, also a former executive at the Trump Organization, to take the stand on 8 November. The prosecution is expected to then rest their case, making way for Mr Trump’s legal team.

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