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Donald Trump Denounces New York Civil Trial as a ‘Fraud’ in Courtroom Outburst

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NEW YORK, USA – Former US President Donald Trump has vocally denounced the New York civil fraud trial against him as a “fraud on me,” in a rare courtroom outburst on Thursday, January 11, 2024.

This statement came during the closing arguments of the trial presided over by Judge Arthur Engoron, potentially costing Trump up to $370 million and his New York real estate empire.

Trump’s remarks were made after his attorney, Chris Kise, requested that the judge allow Trump to speak for a few minutes, emphasizing the significant impact of the case on him.

Judge Engoron initially declined a similar request, asking for Trump’s commitment to abstain from personal attacks. However, he later allowed Trump a five-minute window to “focus on the facts.”

Ignoring the judge’s directive to avoid personal attacks, Trump declared his innocence and targeted both the judge and New York Attorney General Letitia James in his speech.

His comments led the judge to instruct Trump’s legal team to “please control your client.”

The former president left the courtroom before the AG’s closing argument, with his lawyer announcing a press conference at a nearby Trump property.

This lawsuit, filed by James, alleges that Trump and his company engaged in fraud by overstating the value of his assets and properties in financial documents.

Trump, facing multiple legal challenges, including potential criminal trials and a defamation suit, has consistently denied any wrongdoing, labeling the case as “election interference at the highest level.”

Protesters gathered outside the courthouse, some showing support for James, while security concerns were heightened following a bomb threat at Judge Engoron’s home.

The courtroom proceedings, which commenced after a delay, included arguments from Trump’s legal team.

They contended that the financial statements in question, prepared by Trump’s accountants, did not constitute fraud and highlighted Trump’s business success.

Defense attorneys for Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., who are also implicated in the lawsuit, argued a lack of evidence against their clients.

The AG’s office seeks to impose a lifetime ban on Trump and a five-year ban on his sons from the New York real estate industry.

As the trial concludes, Judge Engoron is expected to issue his ruling by the end of the month.

The outcome of this case could significantly impact Trump’s business interests and his ongoing political activities.

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