A day after receiving a tongue lashing from a judge disturbed by Donald Trump’s insolence outside the New York courtroom, the former president began to make exasperated remarks inside the court, as the third day of his bank fraud trial started Wednesday.
The increasingly furious Trump—whose real estate empire has already received the kiss of death from the judge—remained quiet during the first two days of proceedings, instead choosing to rail against the entire justice system outside the room’s wooden doors. But when Justice Arthur F. Engoron noted that typical formalities could be cast aside because there’s no jury here, Trump began to grumble and angrily folded his arms while staring at the judge.
Trump turned to defense lawyer Alina Habba at his left to complain in loud groans—this reporter could only make out the words “no jury!”—then threw his arms up and shook his head.
The former president then let out an annoyed sigh and slumped forward, stretching his dark blue suit jacket.
Just before the trial got underway on Wednesday, he was even louder online, where he wrote, “I am not even entitled, under any circumstances, to a JURY. This Witch Hunt cannot be allowed to continue. It is Election Interference and the start of Communism right here in America!”
Minutes later, Trump then complained in court that he couldn’t make out what was being said by the witness on the stand: his longtime former accountant Donald Bender, who became a state witness and disavowed much of the work he did for the Trump Organization and its vastly inflated assets. The testimony could be perceived as a betrayal given that Bender made millions at the firm Mazars USA by working for the Trump family, which invited him to golf courses, hotels, and parties.
The real estate empire Trump built over a lifetime is currently doomed to be yanked from his control, and New York Attorney General Letitia James is still seeking to empty his bank accounts and kick him out of the corporate world.
Wednesday also marked the first time that Trump has sat in court while the intimate details of his personal finances—many of them fictitious—have been on full display. He skipped out on the Manhattan criminal trial last year that ended up with his family company being convicted of tax fraud and fined $1.6 million.
This first week of trial hasn’t gone well for Trump. On Tuesday, Engoron ordered the former president to stop launching personal attacks against the judge’s staff. Even so, he continued to assail New York AG Letitia James, a Democrat, for what he called “election interference” by “Radical Left Marxists.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team picked up where they left off yesterday, with Miami defense attorney Jesus M. Suarez grilling Bender and trying to undermine his credibility.