Judge at Donald Trump’s NY civil fraud trial Loses His Cool during testimony
Slams hand on bench and says ‘This is ridiculous!’
NEW YORK POST
The Manhattan judge deciding Donald Trump’s $250 million civil fraud trial lost his cool on Wednesday — slamming his hand on the bench and snapping, “This is ridiculous” — as the former president’s lawyers grilled his ex-accountant over inconsistent testimony.
The judge’s annoyed reaction came after Trump’s side claimed that Donald Bender, a partner at accounting firm Mazars USA, was evading their questions.
The attorneys had also repeatedly insisted they needed to meticulously go through Trump’s financial records with Bender “year by year.”
“Don’t waste time,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron said sternly.
Trump attorney Jesus Suarez had spent part of Tuesday afternoon and all of Wednesday morning cross-examining Bender — and said he would continue with the questioning through the end of the day.
“This is ridiculous!” Engoron said, hitting his hand on the bench. “Mr. Bender isn’t on trial here.”
Another Trump attorney, Christopher Kise, said the only things Bender “seems to recall are what the government wants him to recall.”
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron lost his patience during former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial and warned Trump’s lawyers to not waste time. Steven Hirsch
“We need to be allowed to parse the evidence — we didn’t bring this case,” Kise argued.
Alina Habba, also a Trump lawyer, chimed in, “We haven’t got one answer from him … he has no memory as we sit here.”
Kise conceded that they would try “to streamline” the cross-examination before the judge reiterated: “Let’s not waste time.”
Over the course of testimony Wednesday — the third day of trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit — Engoron checked Trump’s legal team twice more, at one point suggesting they were pandering to the press and carrying out their defense as if a jury were present.
Trump’s lawyers accused accountant Donald Bender of evading their questions.Photo by JEENAH MOON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
“There is no jury here,” he said — reportedly prompting an exasperated response from Trump, 77, who threw his arms in the air while sitting with his attorneys at the defense table.
“Who are you talking to — me, the press or the audience?” Engoron asked Kise at another point.
Similarly, a lawyer for the AG’s Office was shocked to hear that Bender would be questioned by Trump’s side for the rest of the day.
“There’s no jury. I don’t know who we’re performing for,” the attorney was heard saying.
The 2024 Republican presidential front-runner — who has chosen to attend the trial since it kicked off in Lower Manhattan on Monday — left for Florida after Wednesday’s lunch break, CNN reported.
Trump was slated to go straight to the airport to head back to Mar-a-Lago, a source told the outlet.
It was not immediately clear if or when Trump would return to court, though he has said he would testify should he be called to the witness stand.
Header featured image (edited) credit: Judge/Trum/Atty/org. NY Post teaser
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