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Day 1087

1/ Trump defied the judge presiding over his $370 million civil fraud trial and delivered a brief courtroom speech claiming that he’s an “innocent man” and that the lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James is “a fraud on me.” Judge Arthur Engoron had previously Trump’s request to give his own closing statement because Trump wouldn’t agree to refrain from personal attacks. Nevertheless, Trump’s attorney asked Engoron to allow Trump to speak for two to three minutes during closing arguments. Engoron then asked Trump if he would agree to stick to case-related subjects, which prompted Trump to begin his diatribe. For roughly five minutes, Trump claimed that James “hates Trump and uses Trump to get elected,” that the case was a “political witch hunt,” and demanded that prosecutors “should pay me for what I’ve gone through.” Trump then attacked Engoron, remarking that “You have your own agenda […] You can’t listen for more than one minute.” Engoron then instructed Trump’s lawyer to “control your client,” who didn’t appear to make any effort to do so. The trial has now concluded and Engoron said he plans to issue his ruling later this month. James has asked Engoron to impose $370 million in penalties and permanently bar Trump from running a business in New York. Hours before the trial’s final day began, police responded to a “swatting incident” at Engoron’s home. The bomb squad was called to investigate, but nothing was found. (Associated Press / New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Washington Post / Axios)

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