• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Trump civil fraud trial in New York begins

Trump civil fraud trial in New York begins

During the four opening statements of the civil fraud trial, former President Donald Trump sat at the defense table between two of his lawyers.

He never spoke to Judge Arthur Engoron. 

Trump often faced forward, watching the small video monitor in front of him which displayed the opening presentations by the state and his defense lawyer.

Trump occasionally sat with his arms folded or leaned over to whisper to his lawyers. When Alina Habba and Clifford Robert, who are lawyers for the other defendants, spoke without video presentations, Trump looked at them intently.

Habba, who represents Trump, Allen Weisselberg, Jeffrey McConney and other employees of the Trump Organization, at times turned to him when she was discussing the valuation of his Mar-a-Lago resort.

As Trump’s lawyer, Chris Kise, answered questions from the judge, Trump wrote notes and passed them to him. 

Eric Trump, who is also a defendant, sat in the front row of the courtroom gallery, on the defense side behind and to his father’s left.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James sat in the front row on the other side of the courtroom, behind the former president and about 15 feet to his right. 

The former president only once looked at James, as he left the courtroom for the lunch break, turning his head as he walked past where she was seated.

Eric Trump stopped and shook her hands using both of his hands as he followed his father out of the courtroom. 

Court resumes at 2:15 p.m. ET after a lunch break.

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