HomeBreaking NewsJudge Blocks Trump's Closing Argument in NY Fraud Trial

Judge Blocks Trump’s Closing Argument in NY Fraud Trial

Published on

spot_img

The judge in charge, Arthur Engoron, dropped the hammer, saying former President Donald Trump won’t be doing his own mic drop moment in the civil fraud trial in New York on Thursday.

Engoron laid down the law, telling Trump’s legal eagles that if he wanted to step up to the plate, there were some rules to follow. Trump’s crew wasn’t having it, though. The judge made it clear that Trump’s spiel in court had to stick to the basics – only yapping about the facts that matter and throwing in some legal jargon for good measure. 

In an email trail that got tossed into the mix on Wednesday, it was revealed that Engoron and Trump’s legal squad were trying to reach common ground. The judge even gave them some extra time to think it over. But by Wednesday afternoon, Engoron basically said, “No response, no go.” 

The judge put it in writing “Not having heard from you by the third extended deadline (noon today), I assume that Mr. Trump will not agree to the reasonable, lawful limits I have imposed as a precondition to giving a closing statement above and beyond those given by his attorneys, and that, therefore, he will not be speaking in court tomorrow,” 

The showdown about wrapping things up 

Closing arguments are the final chance to make legal points, and usually, lawyers handle this part, unless the accused decides to represent themselves. Engoron stressed that allowing Trump to speak was entirely up to him, following New York state law. 

In a message sent to Trump’s legal crew and the New York Attorney General’s Office on January 5th, Engoron spelled out the rules for Trump if he wanted to talk in court. 

“He may not seek to introduce new evidence. He may not ‘testify.’ He may not comment on irrelevant matters. In particular, and without limitation, he may not deliver a campaign speech, and he may not impugn myself, my staff, plaintiff, plaintiff’s staff, or the New York State Court System, none of which is relevant to this case,” Engoron wrote, later describing these restrictions as “fair” and “legal.” 

In response to Engoron, Trump’s lawyer Christopher Kise voiced his grievances about the judge’s restrictions. 

“This is very unfair, your Honor. You are not allowing President Trump, who has been wrongfully demeaned and belittled by an out of control, politically motivated Attorney General, to speak about the things that must be spoken about,” Kise penned on Wednesday morning.

The emails also revealed that the attorney general’s team wasn’t in favor of Trump giving some of the closing arguments.

When CBS News inquired about Engoron’s decision to stop Trump from speaking, Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba responded bluntly, “Is anyone still surprised?” 

The closing arguments represent the final shot for Trump’s team to sway Engoron, who’s already pinned fraud charges on Trump and his company. Their aim? To dodge hefty fines worth hundreds of millions and salvage Trump’s prospects in New York’s business scene. 

It’s not the norm for a defendant to chime in during closing arguments, especially when they’ve got lawyers handling the heavy lifting, as noted by former Manhattan prosecutor Diana Florence. She stressed the significance of the legal arguments officially documented in court for future appeals. Lawyers, she said, grasp “the ins and outs of the case” and strive to lay the groundwork for the strongest possible appeal. 

“Trump’s doing this for the court of public opinion and for the MAGA community, and that may not be consistent with what’s in his best legal interest in this particular case,” Florence remarked. 

The Trump Fraud Trial 

The trial kicked off on October 2nd and turned into a real courtroom drama. It featured heated arguments, clashes between Trump’s legal team and Attorney General Letitia James’ lawyers, witness testimonies, and even run-ins with Judge Engoron and his law clerk. What’s hanging in the balance here is the future of the Trump Organization in its birthplace, New York, where it once flourished. 

Back in September, Engoron dropped the hammer, holding Trump, the company, his two grown-up sons, and a couple of top executives responsible for fraud. He also gave the green light to cancel many of the company’s business licenses and talked about dissolving a big chunk of the Trump Organization – the same one that owns some of New York’s most famous buildings and properties. All of this would happen under the watchful eye of an independent receiver. 

However, a lot of that decision was put on hold during the trial. The focus shifted to accusations involving insurance fraud, cooking the books, and conspiracy. On top of that, James’ office wants a whopping $370 million in fines, a lifelong ban on Trump ever setting foot in New York’s real estate scene again, and a five-year ban for his sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. 

Trump and his co-defendants have been singing the same tune throughout – they deny any wrongdoing and accuse James of using the case as a political weapon against Trump. 

Latest articles

Navigating the Signs of True Love in Today’s Dating Scene

Even though tying the knot might not be as trendy nowadays, most people still...

Arsonist Sentenced to Death for Japan Anime Studio Massacre

A man in Japan has been given the death penalty after he was found...

Triple Fatal Shooting at Arlington Apartments

Arlington police are on the hunt for the shooter who took the lives of...

NH Primary Spending: Trump, Haley, Biden’s Big Investments

In New Hampshire, the first state to host a primary, voters get a special...
More like this

Navigating the Signs of True Love in Today’s Dating Scene

Even though tying the knot might not be as trendy nowadays, most people still...

Arsonist Sentenced to Death for Japan Anime Studio Massacre

A man in Japan has been given the death penalty after he was found...

Triple Fatal Shooting at Arlington Apartments

Arlington police are on the hunt for the shooter who took the lives of...