Last week Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump and his two sons (and several other entities and people) were liable for overstating the value of his holdings. Essentially this was the civil case equivalent of finding him guilty of fraud.
In his 35-page ruling, Judge Arthur Engoron said Trump continually lied on his financial statements and was able to get favorable loan terms and lower insurance premiums as a result. Trump’s legal arguments defending the statements are based in “a fantasy world, not the real world,” Engoron wrote.
The judge went on to say that the case was essentially a “documents case,” and “the documents here clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business, satisfying [the attorney general’s] burden to establish liability as a matter of law against defendants. Defendants’ respond that: the documents do not say what they say; that there is no such thing as ‘objective; value; and that, essentially, the Court should not believe its own eyes.”
“The defenses Donald Trump attempts to articulate in his sworn deposition are wholly without basis in law or fact,” Engoron added.
That ruling didn’t seem to leave much left to decide in the actual trial except how much Trump would have to pay. AG Letitia James was seeking a judgment of $250 million. As Karen pointed out earlier, Trump showed up for day one of the trial and the judge ruled that no cameras would be allowed, though reporters were able to snap a few photos of Trump before the trial began. Some noted that Judge Engoron acted like he was having a good time.
Judge Arthur Engoron allows cameras into the courtroom for Donald Trump’s fraud trial.
In a quirky moment, the judge takes off his glasses to smile for the camera – something Trump doesn’t seem to find very funny.
Follow our live blog on this trial ???? https://t.co/sbvd1njJty pic.twitter.com/JCgtBUAA2f
Sky News (@SkyNews) October 2, 2023
Outside of the court house, AG Letitia James made a statement saying she would prove her case in court.