The judge presiding over former President Donald Trump‘s fraud trial in New York scolded Trump’s lawyers by name after they arrived late to court.
Judge Arthur Engoron cautioned Trump’s legal team about being mindful of the time after the attorneys returned 10 minutes late after a recess on the second day of the trial.
Naming attorneys Christopher Kise, Alina Habba and Cliff Robert, Engoron told the lawyers, “I like to run a tight ship,” according to the Daily Beast’s Jose Pagliery. The judge also said he would be firmer on the length of breaks and warned that moving forward, he would start at the agreed upon time even if people were not back in the courtroom by then.
Newsweek reached out to Kise via email for comment.
New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million civil trial against Trump, the Trump Organization and his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, began on Monday. She is accusing the Trump family and their company of misrepresenting their wealth by billions. The case, which does not have any jurors because Trump’s team asked for a jury trial, will be decided solely by Engoron and pose a massive threat to Trump’s businesses.
Tuesday’s scuffle was the latest in the trial. On Monday, Kise got into a heated exchange with Engoron after the judge asked another attorney at what point something is “material.”
“You owe it to the defendants to listen to this evidence,” Kise shot at Engoron. “I don’t think you are an expert on accounting standards…we have experts you haven’t heard from.
“I would caution you to listen, there is a lot more to this story, there are layers to this and we need to give witnesses an opportunity to take the stand and learn what this case is about,” the lawyer told the judge.
Engoron also began Tuesday by warning Trump’s attorneys not to argue against earlier rulings, saying, “Trials are…not an opportunity to relitigate what I’ve already decided. That’s why have appeals.”
Trump himself took direct aim at the judge in a social media post during Monday’s lunch break, calling Engoron a “rogue judge” and “Trump hater.”
“We’re going to be here for months with a judge that already made up his mind. It’s ridiculous,” the former president complained to reporters outside the courthouse.
“This is a judge that should be disbarred,” Trump said. “This is a judge that should be out of office. This is a judge that some people say could be charged criminally for what he’s doing. He’s interfering with an election—and it’s a disgrace.”
On Tuesday, Trump, who has maintained “there was absolutely no fraud” told members of the press he’d take the witness stand “at the appropriate time.” He is named on both James’ and his team’s witness lists.
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