Judge Engoron Denies, Then Allows Trump to Speak During Closing Arguments
Last week, reports surfaced that Donald Trump wanted to give a portion of the closing argument himself in the New York fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Initially, Judge Engoron had ruled that Trump could speak, with restrictions.
Trump did not want to abide by those restrictions, so Engoron rescinded the offer, only to allow Trump to speak at the last minute on Thursday.
For whatever reason, Engoron decided to allow Trump to speak, and I am sure he regretted it.
Trump started, “The financial statements were perfect, there were no witnesses against us, the banks got paid back… the banks are as happy as can be… there’s no fraud. What’s happened here sir, is a fraud on me. This is a political witch hunt… we should receive damages for what we’ve gone through.
“We have a situation where I’m an innocent man. I’ve been persecuted by someone running for office… I’ve built buildings all over the city. I’ve never had a problem. Until now… they want to make sure I don’t win again. This is election interference.”
Engoron then motioned that Trump had one minute left, which sent Trump off, stating, “You can’t listen for more than one minute. This is a persecution—”
Engoron then told Trump’s attorney to get his client under control.
Trump’s attorney also spent about two hours doing his closing argument, to which Engoron replied, “Thank you, Mr. Kise. That was quite a feat of endurance.”
Regardless of what Trump said or didn’t say, he was going to lose this case long before any witnesses testified in the courtroom.
If you recall, Engoron has issued a partial judgment summary, suspending Trump's business license and ordering some of his properties to be liquidated. That decision was appealed and stayed until the conclusion of this trial.