OAN’s Sophia Flores
12:03 PM – Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Judge Arthur Engoron has turned down Donald Trump’s request to address the court during the closing arguments of his New York civil business fraud trial.
In a letter addressed to the legal defense on Wednesday, Judge Engoron informed Trump’s attorneys and the prosecution team led by New York Attorney General Letitia James that he had revoked the former president’s request to speak on Thursday. He stated that the decision was made due to Trump not agreeing to the constraints imposed by him if he was given the opportunity to speak.
“Not having heard from you by the third extended deadline (noon today), I assume that Mr. Trump will not agree to the reasonable, lawful limits I have imposed as a precondition to giving a closing statement above and beyond those given by his attorneys, and that, therefore, he will not be speaking in court tomorrow,” he wrote.
Initially, Judge Engoron had approved Trump’s request to speak. However, he later stated that the former president was only allowed to comment “on the relevant, material facts that are in evidence, and application of the relevant law to those facts.”
Additionally, the judge asserted that the Republican 2024 front-runner was not allowed to introduce new information to the case. Trump may not, “comment on irrelevant matters,” or “deliver a campaign speech” during his closing remarks, according to Engoron.
From the start, the attorney general’s office was firmly against the idea of Trump speaking during the defense’s closing arguments.
“Allowing Mr. Trump to present closing argument will invite more speeches that will ‘unduly disrupt’ the proceedings,” said prosecution lawyer Andrew Amer.
When James first sued Trump in the fall of 2022, she asked the judge to penalize Trump $250 million for “inflating his net worth in order to retain better loans” from banks. Her number later rose to $370 million last week, as she now believes that through the trial, “he gained all of his money unlawfully.”
In addition to suing the 45th president, she is seeking to ban his family company from conducting any business from this point forward in The Empire State.
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