Judge Tells Trump To Quiet Down During Testimony In Letitia James’ Case

0
768

During a period of witness testimony in a New York courtroom on Wednesday that was part of the trial on state Attorney General Letitia James’ fraud case against former President Donald Trump, the presiding judge eventually had to exhort the ex-president — and others, evidently not having singled out Trump by name — to quiet down.

The reported situation recalls the infamous debate before the 2020 presidential election in which Trump incessantly interrupted Joe Biden throughout the evening to the point the conversation was frequently barely intelligible. The dispute in court this week revolved around testimony from real estate appraiser Doug Larson, evidently cited at times by the Trump Organization as expert support in their (disputed) claims of value for various Trump assets. Larson said he didn’t recall an email that evidently shows outreach from the former president’s team about him providing such insight.

Larson was escorted out of the courtroom before that conclusion, as the participating lawyers disputed the continuance of his testimony after he initially simply denied having agreed to provide such support. A Trump lawyer, Lazaro Fields, also sought to undercut Larson’s credentials in appraising, characterizing the figure as having ended up below an appropriate value of a Trump property situated in New York by considerable amounts.

“In a series of questions, Trump lawyer Lazaro Fields sought to establish that Larson had, at one point, undershot the projected 2015 value of a Trump-owned Wall Street office building by $114 million,” the Associated Press reported. Fields defended the calculations as legitimate — and “Trump threw up his hands during the exchange,” the outlet added. Trump, during the same witness’s testimony, also “conferred animatedly with his lawyers” during Larson’s time under questioning according to the same source, spurring the judge’s direction for the quieting down.

Trump is already under a limited gag order in this very case, which covers public commentary he might make about members of court staff. The directives came after he made such commentary, targeting a clerk for the judge on social media with deceptive, incendiary claims.