Former President Donald Trump is being vindicated by at least one mainstream media analyst after he took the opportunity in his New York civil trial to speak about how politics is playing a role in his prosecution.
Top CNN legal analyst Elie Honig said the former president has a point when he claims Attorney General Letitia James is coming after him, following her campaign promises rather than the facts of the case or the letter of the law. Speaking about the case where James alleges the Trump empire overstated the value of its real estate assets, Honig may have upset network viewers when he agreed that the former president shouldn’t have been denied the opportunity to criticize the Democrat’s political motivations.
“Letitia James campaigned for attorney general in 2018 specifically on a promise of ‘vote for me and I’ll get Donald Trump,'” said Honig. “That’s not something she said once. She said it dozens of times, she said it in writing, she fundraised off it, and she wasn’t even specific. She didn’t say ‘I’ll get him for inflating his assets.’ At one point she said he could be indicted for money laundering… The day after she was elected, she said, and I quote, ‘We’re definitely going to sue his ass. He’ll know my name.'”
“When you make statements like that, how can you say there’s no political angle to this?” he asked.
On Thursday, Judge Arthur Engoron – a favorite foil of Trump – allowed him to speak in his own defense but cautioned the Republican not to deliver a “campaign speech” or veer into political territory. President Trump briefly stuck to the facts of the case before listing his grievances with AG James and Engoron’s court.
“We consider this unconstitutional… it’s election interference at the highest level, it’s a disgrace,” Trump said in court. “It’s in coordination with the White House and Joe Biden, because he can’t win a campaign fairly. And we’re going through it, but it is indeed a terrible witch hunt.”
“At this moment, the judge is not letting me make this summation because I’ll bring up things that he doesn’t want to hear,” he continued. “And it’s a very unfair trial, nobody’s seen anything like this. I don’t think they’ve ever seen anything like this. We have a situation where a statute was used that doesn’t give me a jury. So, I have no jury, I really have no rights, and it’s sad. And nobody, nobody thinks it’s constitutional, people. Legal scholars are writing about it like it’s something they’ve never seen before. So, it’s interference, its political interference, and it’s something that shouldn’t be allowed.”