On Monday, former President Donald Trump reportedly produced a document he claimed would exonerate him in his high-stakes $250 million civil fraud case. The scene unfolded as Trump, during his testimony, reached into his suit jacket and presented a paper that he insisted would clear his name against allegations made by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The document in question, a disclaimer clause from a financial statement, was at the center of the case where Trump is accused of inflating his assets for better loan and insurance terms. Trump argued that this clause absolved him of liability for any inaccuracies within the documents.
However, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, presiding over the non-jury trial, had previously dismissed this defense in a pre-trial ruling, stating that the disclaimers did not protect the defendants from liability and placed the responsibility for accuracy on them.
Despite Trump’s insistence and his request to read the document aloud in court, Justice Engoron denied the request, prompting Trump to express his shock at the decision according to the New York Post.
As he testified at trial in the suit, Trump held the document up and asked if the judge would “like to have it.”
Later, the real estate tycoon said: “I would love to read this, Your Honor, if I could? Am I allowed to do that?”
“No, not at this point,” replied Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron — who is deciding the non-jury case that threatens Trump’s New York real estate empire.
“I’m shocked,” Trump responded.
The courtroom witnessed a heated moment as Trump accused the judge and the Attorney General of perpetrating a fraud, labeling James a “political hack.”
REPORT: Donald Trump reportedly pulled out a piece of paper from his suit jacket in court, claiming it would clear him of all wrongdoing in the $250M fraud case.
Left-wing Judge Arthur Engoron refused to let him read it.
The paper in question reportedly was a disclaimer clause… pic.twitter.com/iIAZkoFdBK
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 7, 2023
Trump’s legal representatives argued that the financial statements in question did not significantly influence the banks’ loan decisions, asserting that the terms of the loans and the locations of the properties were more critical factors.
Additionally, he asserted that the value of his assets, such as 40 Wall Street, was underestimated in those documents, and he highlighted that since all the bank loans have been fully repaid, there were no parties harmed in this matter.
The defense team of the ex-president has characterized the lawsuit as a product of political motives, suggesting the trial may be compromised by the judge’s alleged partiality and indicating they might seek a mistrial. As the trial progresses, with an anticipated end date around December 15, Trump has spent roughly three and a half hours testifying.
Outside the courtroom, Trump continued to assert his innocence and called for the immediate dismissal of the case, criticizing the judge and the Attorney General for what he described as a “fraud” against him.
Trump did not hold back his thoughts resulting in a series of tense exchanges that disrupted the legal proceedings. “This is really election interference,” Trump said. “This is fairly ridiculous. The numbers are much greater than on the financial statement. And we’ve already proven that. They said Mar-a-Lago is worth $18 million.”
“You have a racist attorney general who made some terrible statements, and you see some more that came over the wires today. It’s a very sad situation for our country. We shouldn’t have this. This is for third-world countries. And it’s very unfair.”