(NationalUSNews.com) — On Wednesday, January 10, Judge Arthur Engoron rejected a bid by former President Trump to deliver his own closing argument in the civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James to determine whether Trump must pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and determine his future ability to do business in the state of New York. Judge Engoron had originally approved the bid on the understanding that former President Trump would limit his remarks to relevant information.
Trump’s attorneys indicated he would not agree to the conditions as stated because he considered them unfair. Upon the rejection of the terms, Judge Engoron withdrew his approval. Andrew Amer of the Attorney General’s office asserted that if Trump were allowed to make closing remarks, it would essentially grant him the opportunity to testify without having to be subject to cross-examination.
However, on Jan. 11, after one of the former president’s attorneys, Christopher Kise, outlined their side of the case, the Trump team once again asked that their client be allowed to make closing remarks. Judge Engoron then pointedly asked if the former president would agree to respect the restrictions that he had outlined earlier. Trump indicated he would not follow the directives, once again calling them unfair, and then began to speak anyway, in defiance of the judge’s refusal.
In his closing statement, Trump indicated that he could not restrain himself to the guidelines Judge Engoron required, as he believes the case goes beyond “just the facts.” He then reiterated that he was innocent and claimed that he was being persecuted for political reasons. He then accused the judge of having an agenda. Judge Engoron told Kise to control his client, later pointing out that he doesn’t believe he’s required to accept any testimony that he does not find credible that is unrebutted.
The judge has indicated he plans to have a decision on the trial by January 31.
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