Former President Donald Trump abruptly left the courtroom on Thursday after lashing out at the judge and the prosecutors in his civil fraud trial in New York City. Trump, who was barred from giving his own closing argument by Judge Arthur Engoron, seized the opportunity to speak when his lawyer asked for permission.
However, instead of sticking to the facts and the law of the case, Trump launched into a tirade against New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the $370 million lawsuit against him and his family business, and accused her of political persecution and election interference.
Trump also attacked Judge Engoron, whom he had previously disparaged on social media, and accused him of not listening to him and being biased. Trump claimed that he was an innocent man and that the lawsuit was a fraud on him. He said that he should receive damages for what the prosecutors had put him and his company through. He also complained about the statute of limitations, which he said was vicious and unfair.
Judge Engoron, who had warned Trump to abide by the guidelines he had laid out earlier, cut him off after six minutes and recessed for lunch. He told Trump’s lawyer to control his client and said that he had given him enough leeway. Trump then stormed out of the courtroom, followed by his security detail and his supporters.
The outburst came as both sides presented their closing arguments in the trial, which lasted for two months. The lawsuit alleges that Trump and his company misled investors and consumers by inflating the value of their assets and projects, and by making false claims about their charitable giving. The prosecutors are seeking to recover $370 million in damages and penalties, and to ban Trump and his children from serving as officers or directors of any New York-based company for 10 years.
Trump’s lawyers argued that the lawsuit was politically motivated and that the prosecutors had failed to prove any fraud or harm. They said that Trump’s statements were opinions, not facts, and that he had relied on the advice of his accountants and lawyers. They also said that the investors and consumers who participated in Trump’s projects were sophisticated and did their own due diligence. They asked the judge to dismiss the case and clear Trump’s name.
Judge Engoron is expected to issue his verdict in the coming weeks. The trial is one of several legal challenges that Trump is facing, including a criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney into his business dealings and taxes. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has called the investigations a witch hunt.
The article summarizes the main events and arguments of the civil fraud trial against Donald Trump and his company in New York City. It reports on Trump’s dramatic outburst in the courtroom on Thursday, when he ranted against the judge and the prosecutors and then left abruptly. It also provides some background and context on the lawsuit and the potential consequences for Trump and his business. The article is based on the link provided by the user and the web search results from Bing.