Trial Judge Tells Trump Lawyer To Sit Down & Threatens To Boot Donald

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On Monday, the story continued of frustrations from presiding Judge Arthur Engoron with the answers from ex-President Donald Trump during trial on fraud claims from New York state Attorney General Letitia James. Trump was appearing on the witness stand to answer James’ team’s questions for the first time in the context of trial, and he continually veered off course in his answers, commenting in a manner the judge blasted as ignoring the substance of questions.

Per legal reporter Erica Orden, Engoron threatened to boot Trump, which could imperil his opportunities to launch a legal defense, even if the ex-president obviously isn’t thrilled to be under oath in the first place. “I beseech you to control him if you can. If you can’t, I will. I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can,” Engoron reportedly told Chris Kise, a lawyer for Trump. And according to that same journalist, Engoron also rebuffed an attempted excuse for Trump from another lawyer on his side, Alina Habba.

“After Habba told the judge he is here to listen to what Trump has to say, judge told her to sit down. “I am not here to listen to what he has to say!” judge shouted,” per Orden. In other words, it wasn’t a Trump therapy session.

Engoron, Kise, and Habba have rhetorically sparred previously. The two Trump lawyers recently complained about written communications shared between the judge and a clerk of his — complaints Engoron rejected. He imposed restrictions on members of the Trump legal team making further comments about the judge and the clerk’s communications, threatening serious consequences if they went against his demands. Trump’s corner had been suggesting there was bias, leading in the persistent nature of their criticism to Engoron questioning whether misogyny helped explain their outrage. The clerk is the same individual whose targeting by Trump spurred the widely reported gag order in this case blocking Trump from making public attacks on court staff.