“Check your client, we are not in a political meeting,” the judge fumes

“Check your client, we are not in a political meeting,” the judge fumes

It’s the first round. Donald Trump, combative and offensive, He defended himself under oath Monday in New York court during For a high-stakes civil trial for his real estate empireIt is an almost unprecedented moment for American democracy, and the first in a long line of legal meetings for the billionaire who dreams of returning to the White House.

The 77-year-old former President of the United States is accused of crimes The value of its real estate assets has explodedlike Trump Tower in New York, to tempt the banks, defends himself step by step and answers at length every question asked by Prosecutor Kevin Wallace, in a crowded courtroom of a Manhattan court, where he took the oath, raising his hand.

” answer the question “

Since the opening of the session, the stormy billionaire has made several accusations against the prosecutor and judge Arthur Engoron.

“It’s a really very unfair trial, and I hope people see that,” he said, while the judge, with whom he has had a terrible relationship since the start of the hearings on October 2, told him he had been asked several times to give shorter answers. In half a day, Donald Trump denounced the “exploitation of justice” and the judge who “always rules against him.” Attorney General Letitia James has been described as a ‘little politician’

“Can you check your client, we are not in a political meeting,” warned the judge, who since the start of the trial has fined him $5,000 and $10,000 for doing so. Writer. Addressing Donald Trump, he insists: “You can attack me all you want, but answer the question.”

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Essentially, Donald Trump put the fluctuations in the value of his properties into perspective, ensuring that he had done “a lot of renovations” on one of his buildings in Manhattan and that the “Trump brand” had been “undervalued” according to the estimates of the US judicial system.

“Did you agree to 40 Wall Street’s $600 million valuation?” », insists the prosecutor. Trump answers: “I don’t remember,” noting that the number dates back to 12 years ago. Confronted with an email, in which his son claims that “DJT” gave that number to a journalist, he realizes that these are actually his initials (which stand for “Donald J. Trump”).

After the lunch break, Donald Trump admitted that he had actually signed a document submitted to Deutsche Bank, which included ratings intended to “encourage (the bank) to lend.” A decisive exchange, according to an analysis of 20 minutes From US Attorney Bradley Moss:

“Donald Trump admitted to providing false financial statements in an attempt to convince banks to offer him better terms than if they had the real numbers. This is the essence of the Prosecutor’s argument. »

Historical testimony

In that case, Attorney General Letitia James, a Democratic elected official, filed a civil suit against employees of the Trump Organization, accusing Trump’s father and son of overstating the value of the group’s assets — countless companies that operate skyscrapers, hotels and department stores. Luxury residences or golf courses around the world – for better bank loans and more favorable insurance terms.

This is the first time in more than 100 years that a former president has been called to testify in his defense at trial, since Theodore Roosevelt in the first decade of the twentieth century.

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Unlike the other four criminal cases in which he is charged, Donald Trump does not risk prison time in this civil trial, but he plays big financially and the case is off to a bad start. Since the fraud has already been proven, the trial concerns in particular the amount of the fine. Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million and a ban on the Republican billionaire and his children from managing businesses. It is possible that the financial penalties could be much higher, which could force Donald Trump to liquidate many properties.

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