Judge Threatens To Dismiss Trump Over ‘Nonresponsive,’ ‘Political’ Answers During Testimony | JP
New York Judge Arthur Engoron threatened to dismiss former President Donald Trump from the witness stand on Monday over Trump’s testimony in a case over his business practices.
Trump took the stand to defend himself and his company, the Trump Organization, against prosecution from New York Attorney General Letitia James, who campaigned on targeting the former president. James has accused Trump of inflating the values of his business holdings to illegally enrich himself and his company through better loan terms and other advantages.
Shortly after his testimony began, Engoron began to instruct Trump and his legal team to control the former president’s behavior on the stand and keep Trump’s answers limited to the questions he is asked.
“Some of your answers have not been in response to the question,” Engoron said, according to CNN. “[Prosecutor Kevin Wallace] is being very patient. I would like to move this along.”
A few minutes later, Trump in his testimony accused the judge of targeting him unfairly.
“I’m sure the judge will rule against me because he always rules against me,” Trump said in an answer related to the statute of limitations.
Engoron then turned on Chris Kise, one of Trump’s attorneys: “The comment that I always rule against him, which as you know is not true anyway, certainly didn’t answer the question.”
“So Mr. Trump, please just answer the question,” Engoron continued, addressing the former president. “You can attack me, you can do whatever you want, but answer the question.”
In a show of building frustration, Engoron later asked Kise to “control” Trump.
“Mr. Kise, can you control your client?” Engoron asked. “This is not a political rally. This is a courtroom.”
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“In addition to the answers being nonresponsive, they’re repetitive. We don’t have time to waste. We have one day with this witness,” the judge said.
When the prosecutor, Wallace, asked Trump about a valuation of 40 Wall Street, a Trump building located in Manhattan, Trump responded that the valuation in question was outside the five-year statute of limitations, prompting another reprimand from the judge.
“Mr. Kise that was a simple yes or no question. We got another speech. I beseech you to control him if you can. If you can’t I will. I will I excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can,” Engoron said.
Before the court adjourned for a 15-minute break, Trump said: “This is a very unfair trial. Very, very and I hope the public is watching.”
Before entering the courtroom to testify, Trump said he was being targeted by political operatives and compared the trial to corruption in third-world countries.