Since Monday 2 October, Donald Trump has been sitting in court. The former president is currently facing possible huge consequences including: losing his business licence in New York, having to sell some of his real estate portfolio (Trump Tower included) and paying a fine of over $200 million.
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While this civil fraud case is not the worst legal battle Trump will have to fight in the coming months it appears to now be getting to him. The man who is usually so composed is now showing signs of frustration and anger. Is Trump getting worried?
A trial with no jury
Donald Trump is facing Judge Engoron alone. Indeed, this fraud case solely lies in the Judge’s hands as no jury was asked by Trump’s team of lawyers or the prosecution.
However, Trump has been complaining about the lack of a jury since the beginning of the trial. He has called this ‘unfair’ and has called the whole trial a ‘witch hunt’. But it was revealed that actually, Trump’s team never asked for one.
According to CNN reporters who spoke to legal experts, because of the nature of Trump’s case, having a jury wasn’t mandatory. But Trump's team could have still asked for one.
This was pointed out in the middle of court by Judge Engoron and this led to a big reaction from Donald Trump who is known to be very calm in court.
Donald Trump loses his temper and… leaves
It is reported by journalists present in court that when Judge Engoron reminded Trump’s defence that they didn’t have to perform for a jury, Trump turned to his lawyers in anger.
Jose Pagliery from The Daily Beast said:
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
Then, Trump was seen letting out ‘an annoyed sigh and slumped forward, stretching his dark blue suit jacket’.
But this isn’t the only visible sign of Trump losing his temper in court. Indeed, The New York Times reports that on Wednesday 4 October, Trump was seen ‘shaking his head’ and ‘glaring at Attorney General Letitia James’.
Not only that, reporters from The New York Times wrote:
Trump returned to court on Wednesday morning and sat quietly, for the most part, though he expressed more impatience than he did during the previous two days.
Those visible signs of annoyance culminated when Trump decided on Wednesday to return to Florida. That is his right as he doesn’t have to be present at court for a trial that isn’t a criminal trial. However, Trump stated before that he wouldn’t hesitate to testify. Will he come back?
However, Attorney General James is quite happy to see Donald Trump return to Florida as him being present has attracted protestors, supporters and journalists. In a statement outside of the courthouse in which she addressed the repeated comments Trump gave to the press after the hearings she said:
Trump's comments were offensive, baseless, they were void of any facts and or any evidence. What they were were comments that unfortunately fermented violence, comments that I would describe as race-baiting, comments that unfortunately appeals to the bottom of our humanity
As far as she is concerned, Trump returning to Florida finally puts an end to ‘The Donald Trump Show’. AG James added:
This case was brought simply because it was a case where individuals were engaged in patent practice of fraud and I will not sit idly by and allow anyone to subvert the law and lastly I will not be bullied, and so Mr. Trump is no longer here.
She also stated that the president used this trial as a ‘political stunt.’
CNN: Why there is no jury in the New York civil case against Trump
Newsweek: Donald Trump Starts to Crack
Newsweek: Letitia James' New Warning to Donald Trump