USA fraud trial nearing completion – Trump hands out again

It is just one of several trials against Trump – but for the ex-US president, the New York fraud trial is about the future of his corporate empire. Now he’s giving it out again.

At the end of the New York fraud trial against him, former US President Donald Trump once again verbally attacked the judge and the attorney general. Judge Arthur Engoron has “his own agenda” and Attorney General Letitia James “hates Trump and is using Trump to get elected,” ranted Trump, who had previously insulted the two in and outside the courtroom several times and had also received a fine for it.

Both sides gave their closing arguments in the civil trial. While the prosecution’s lawyers once again detailed the fraud allegations against Trump’s corporate empire, the Trump Organization, the defense lawyers again rejected intentional misconduct by Trump and his sons Eric and Donald Jr. The public prosecutor’s office is demanding a penalty of 370 million US dollars (around 340 million euros).

Trump calls himself an “innocent man”

Trump had already announced before the appointment that he wanted to speak out himself. Judge Engoron set conditions for this, which were then not accepted by Trump’s lawyers. Engoron had demanded that Trump not misuse the plea as a campaign speech. During their closing arguments, Trump’s defense attorneys asked again to allow Trump to speak – and Engoron granted their request. Trump then described himself as an “innocent man” and lashed out verbally. Judge Engoron urged Trump’s lawyers to rein in their client.

New York Attorney General James was also in the courtroom. “I am proud of the case we have brought and am confident that the facts and the rule of law are on our side,” she previously said. According to media reports, Trump left the courtroom after the lunch break and instead held a press conference in one of his buildings in southern Manhattan.

It’s about the future of his corporate empire

The civil case is about the future of the 77-year-old’s corporate empire. Prosecutors accused Trump, his sons and employees of manipulating the value of the Trump Organization for years in order to obtain cheaper loans and insurance contracts. Judge Engoron had already confirmed this before the trial. The case could still go to appeal following a verdict that is due to be announced by the end of January.

The ex-president wants to be re-elected in 2024. He is the most promising candidate for the Republican nomination. According to many observers, he used the trial as election advertising and repeatedly claimed that the trial was part of a political campaign against him. During the trial, both Trump himself and his children Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivanka were questioned.

A few hours before the closing arguments began, according to the responsible police authority, there had been a bomb threat against Engoron’s home outside the metropolis of New York. The police initially did not provide any further details.