At New York Trial, a Defiant, Angry Trump Erupts

New York (AFP) – In a grand and dignified courtroom in New York City, Donald Trump took the witness stand on Monday, raising his right hand and swearing to tell the truth. Amidst the luxurious chandeliers and wooden benches, the former president and current 2024 Republican front-runner engaged in a heated exchange with prosecutors in a civil case that posed a threat to his real estate empire. Despite the calm atmosphere, Trump’s anger was palpable as he crossed his arms and tilted his head, visibly irritated by questions from prosecutor Kevin Wallace about his opulent homes and towering skyscrapers.

Trump portrayed everyone involved as enemies, from the “very hostile” judge to the New York Attorney General, whom he referred to as a “political hack.” The 77-year-old, donning a navy blue suit with an American flag on his lapel, described the case as a “disgrace” and claimed it was an act of election interference.

In the case, Trump, along with his sons Don Jr and Eric, and other executives of the Trump Organization, are accused of inflating the value of their real estate assets by billions of dollars to secure more favorable bank loans and insurance terms. This is just one of the many legal battles the twice-impeached former president currently faces.

Trump’s lengthy responses at times drew a reprimand from the judge, who sat to his right, cautioning him that the courtroom was not a platform for political rallies. Judge Arthur Engoron, 74, with white hair, pleaded with Trump to simply answer the questions without delving into speeches.

During one of Trump’s tirades, it was Wallace who, at the end of the outburst, asked Trump if he was finished in a manner reminiscent of addressing an angry child. Trump begrudgingly acknowledged that he was done.

By the end of the day, which marked the first instance of a US president publicly testifying as a defendant in over a century, Trump remained unwavering. He provocatively told the prosecutor, “You have no case.” The judge promptly cut him off, likening Trump’s remarks to a broken record.