Judge Throws The Book At Trump And Declares His Testimony Was False

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In the New York fraud trial covering a case against former President Donald Trump and individuals close to him that originates with the state’s Attorney General Letitia James, presiding Judge Arthur Engoron is clearly fed up with the response from Trump to restrictions on his public commentary.

Earlier this week, as Trump showed up again for a portion of the proceedings, the ex-president and continued presidential contender complained outside the courtroom about an individual he identified as alongside the judge and claimed was partisan. He did not name at the time the individual to whom he was referring, but the judge took the remarks as clearly applying to a clerk of his who the ex-president has targeted before. That earlier antagonism from Trump spurred the gag order in this case. Engoron held Trump to have violated the order, fining him $10,000 and declaring that testimony he offered on the stand about the disputed comments was clearly false — leaving Trump under scrutiny.

“I then conducted a brief hearing, during which Donald Trump testified, under oath that he was referring to Michael Cohen. However, as the trier of fact, I find this testimony rings hollow and untrue,” Engoron said in a written order that outlined his conclusions on the matter of Trump’s latest remarks, as highlighted by ABC.

Engoron also said that utilizing “imprecise language as an excuse to create plausible ambiguity about whether defendant violated this Court’s unequivocal gag order is not a defense; the subject of Donald Trump’s public statement to the press was unmistakably clear” — which is an argument actually similar to one recently made in filings from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team at the federal level. Pushing for restrictions on Trump’s speech in a case accusing him of attempted election interference, they argued there’s a clearly established pattern of ostensibly open-ended remarks from the ex-White House occupant directly leading to real-world violence or at least the threat of it.