December 5, 2023

Trump rages against the judiciary over a new trial

Donald Trump has brought serious accusations against the responsible judge and prosecutor as part of the fraud trial against him in the state of New York.

The basics in a nutshell

  • Donald Trump is on trial again.

  • In New York, the former US president must respond in a civil suit over fraud allegations.

  • The 77-year-old even appeared in court there and criticized the judiciary.

US presidential candidate Donald Trump has used a fraud trial over the future of his business empire for election advertising and blistering verbal attacks. Before the civil proceedings began, the 77-year-old described black prosecutor Letitia James as a “racist” and accused Judge Arthur Engoron of influencing the election. Trump demanded that his license be revoked. This measure is “illegal” and prevents him from campaigning.

After Engoron’s initial decision, Trump turned his back to the wall. Last week, the judge confirmed the prosecutor’s claims that the former president, his children and his employees manipulated the value of the Trump Organization for years in order to obtain cheaper loans and insurance contracts. On Monday, the prosecution and defense made their opening arguments.

250 million – and Trump Tower?

The procedure now concerns the precise definition of potential penalties in addition to public accusations. Although Trump is not threatened with prison or a direct impact on his bid for the presidency, his conviction could cause him significant business damage. James wants to ensure that Trump must pay US$250 million (about €237 million) and that he is no longer allowed to do business in New York. It is unclear whether he would also have to give up properties such as the iconic Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue if he is convicted.

Before the trial began, Trump, who traveled voluntarily in person, spoke of “continuing the largest witch hunt ever” – which could also be understood as a reference to a series of accusations against him. During the breaks, he returned several times to the many waiting media outlets and spoke. He repeated his personal attacks against the trial participants and his statement that he was being subjected to political persecution.

According to television images and US media reports, Trump remained calm in the courtroom. He often looked serious or even gloomy and crossed his arms. According to CNN, he did not communicate with Judge Engoron. At first he looked only once in the direction of Prosecutor James, who was sitting a few rows to the right behind him. Trump’s son, Eric, was also in the room as a co-defendant.

Net worth “inflated”

The prosecutor’s office repeated its allegations on Monday. In a statement, James accused Trump of “falsely inflating his net worth for years” in order to enrich himself and thus defraud institutions. She is looking to show the full extent of his fraud during the trial. No matter how rich or powerful you are, the laws apply equally to all people.

The court witnessed tight security measures, with many barriers, police and media representatives, and a small number of pro-Trump demonstrators. Trump wants to be re-elected as President of the United States next year, and is clearly ahead of his rivals within the party in the Republican field.

Legal success for Trump in Washington

At about the same time that negotiations began in New York, the US Supreme Court in Washington announced a decision that Trump should be happy about. The Supreme Court announced that it will not hear a case seeking to bar Trump from running in the 2024 presidential election due to his role in the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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Less well-known Republican presidential candidate, John Anthony Castro, discussed the Fourteenth Amendment in his proposal. It stipulates that any sworn-in U.S. official is barred from holding future office if he or she “participates in insurrection or insurrection” or provides “aid or assistance” to the rebels.

  • Sources used:

  • DPA News Agency