Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has barred former president and current GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump from making his own closing argument on Thursday in the civil business fraud trial against him.
Trump had previously planned to speak during closing arguments in the highly controversial case, which has been filled with biased decisions from Engoron and New York Attorney General Letitia James.
James claimed in the case that Trump had inflated the value of his company’s assets in financial statements “over 200 times in 10 years” in order to obtain favorable loan terms. Engoron, who has donated thousands of dollars to Democrat politicians over the years, has already rescinded several of Trump’s New York business licenses. He also ruled before the trial even began that Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property was only worth $18 million, a figure that is objectively false.
The New York Post easily debunked that claim, writing: “To put it in perspective, a 2-acre wooded lot at 1980 S. Ocean Blvd., just 5 minutes from Mar-a-Lago, is currently listed for an eye-popping $150 million. Mar-a-Lago, situated at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., dwarfs this lot tenfold and operates as a commercial business with around 500 members as part of the golf club.”
President Trump is in civil trial today in front of Judge that not only humiliated himself by claiming Mar a Lago is worth a laughable $18 million, but watch how he reacts when the news camera shows his face
He takes off his glasses, smiles and shrugs like “look what I get to do… pic.twitter.com/OUgmHnUvfL
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) October 2, 2023
In his latest shocking decision, Engoron emailed Trump’s lawyer Chris Kise declaring that he would not allow the former president to speak in closing arguments because Trump would not censor himself based on the judge’s demands.
In the Wednesday afternoon email, Engoron claimed that since he did not hear from Trump’s team “by the third extended deadline (noon today), I assume that Mr. Trump will not agree to the reasonable, lawful limits that I have imposed as a precondition to giving a closing statement above and beyond those given by his attorneys, and that, therefore, he will not be speaking in court tomorrow.”
Trump’s attorneys had objected to Engoron’s censorship demands, as the judge would only allow Trump to speak to “relevant” matters in his closing arguments, though Engoron’s definition of “relevant” in this case has been highly controversial.
In an email to Engoron 20 minutes before noon on Wednesday, Kise argued that the judge “was not allowing President Trump, who has been wrongfully demeaned and belittled by an out of control court, politically motivated Attorney General, to speak about the things that must be spoken about.”
Only 14 minutes later, Engoron fired back in a shockingly unprofessional email, writing: “I won’t debate this yet again. Take it or leave it. Now or never. You have until noon, seven minutes from now. I WILL NOT GRANT ANY FURTHER EXTENSIONS.”
NEW: Judge Engoron says Donald Trump can't deliver closing statements at his NYC fraud trial tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/IUziOwS5Hj
— Erik Uebelacker (@Uebey) January 10, 2024