Trump, who made a brief statement to the media before entering the courtroom with his lawyers, again described the case as a “witch hunt”.
Trump said the lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James was “election interference of the highest order” and a “disgrace,” adding, “This lawsuit is an unconstitutional witch hunt.”
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Stating that he would like to speak at today’s hearing, where closing arguments will be held, Trump said, “Right now, the judge is not allowing me to speak because I’m going to bring up things he doesn’t want to hear.”
Donald Trump had expressed his wish to speak at the closing session of the legal case against him, which has been ongoing since October 2, 2023, but his request was rejected when he refused to accept Judge Arthur F. Engoron’s requirement to “speak only about the case without political content and personal attacks”.
Fraud case against Trump
In the indictment, New York Attorney General Letitia James claims that Trump, his three children and his company overstated his wealth by $3.6 billion, and asks the judge to prohibit Trump and his children from establishing any more companies in New York, to ban them from buying commercial real estate for 5 years and to fine them $370 million.
In a lawsuit accusing him of “defrauding numerous individuals and entities in the real estate industry for years,” Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that former President Trump and his “Trump Organization” defrauded banks, insurers and business leaders by overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth in deals and financing documents.
In his 35-page ruling, Engoron stated that Trump, his company and its executives obtained favorable loans and low insurance premiums by repeatedly lying about their annual financial situation.