'Unconventional' judge ruling could serve to separate Trump from assets and New York altogether
The mission that New York Attorney General Letitia James took to court when she initiated a civil fraud trial against former President Donald Trump was to show that he inflated his net worth and business assets to the detriment of lenders.
Trump, however, took every opportunity along the way to criticize James, recently leading to lawyers from both camps yelling out that the other side was being unreasonable and wasting everyone's time, as the New York Times reported.
After eleven weeks of tumultuous courtroom drama came to a close on Wednesday, the unconventional New York judge presiding over Trump's civil fraud trial, Arthur Engoron, started to take the reins behind the scenes.
“This is a very unfair trial, very, very. And I hope the public is watching it,” Trump said at one point during his trial.
However, Trump's take led a frustrated Engoron to warn, “This is not a political rally.”
With no jury to resolve the remaining issues in the case, the judge will also decide Trump's fate and that of his business enterprises in New York.
Due to the "unconventional" nature of the judge's earlier ruling as to some of the fraud claims against Trump, as the New York Times termed it, his decision is ripe for appeal, something that Trump's attorneys will likely exploit in the future.
Before testimony had even started, Engoron decided that Trump had indeed falsely exaggerated his net worth. Because of that determination, the sanctions to be applied to Trump became a central issue in the trial.
James has hinted that she would seek a fine potentially in excess of $250 million, after asserting that Trump gained more through his fraud than initially suggested.
To further isolate Trump from the place that brought him fame, she has urged the judge to prohibit him from operating businesses in New York any longer.
The court appeared to be swayed by the AG's arguments, and Engoron has extensive authority to penalize Trump according to the robust New York statute that applies to the subject matter of the case.
Engoron is expected to make a decision shortly after final arguments to be heard in court next month.