Monday, July 15, 2024

Trump attends civil trial in New York court, attacks proceedings

Former US President Donald Trump on Monday attended a New York court where he faces a civil lawsuit for alleged fraud committed through the Trump Organization

The case, brought by Letitia James, New York’s Attorney General, takes aim at Trump’s boasts about his net worth, accusing him of crossing from hyperbole into fraud, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Attorney General’s office contends that Trump, his adult sons and their family business inflated his riches by more than $2 billion so that they could secure favourable terms from banks.

Trump walked past reporters in the hallway but did not stop to speak this time, after making multiple statements, attacking the proceedings, Judge Arthur Engoron and Letitia James.

Judge Engoron ruled last week that Trump and his co-defendants were liable for fraud in the Attorney General’s civil case, one of the seven claims that are a part of the lawsuit.

Trump was not required to appear in court Monday for the trial against him, his eldest sons, their companies and Trump Organization executives. But he chose to attend and sit in the Manhattan courtroom – while giving multiple statements attacking the proceedings as he entered and exited.

“I’ve been going through a witch hunt for years, but this is really now getting dirty between (special counsel) Jack Smith, and between all of these DOJ people helping them along,” Trump said.

“This is a pure witch hunt for purposes of interfering with the elections of the United States of America. It’s totally illegal.”

The New York Attorney General’s office asked Donald Bender, Trump’s former accountant at Mazars USA, about the price of a penthouse apartment for Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. “If I saw something that didn’t make sense to me, or bothered me, I would ask him (the client, Trump Organization) about it,” Bender testified.

Trump’s last appearance in a New York courthouse was in April for his arraignment on criminal charges related to hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. He is scheduled to go to trial in that case next year and is also under criminal indictment in three other cases in Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C.

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