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Donald Trump’s rants and tangents might work on the campaign trail, but they aren’t doing him any favors in his New York bank fraud trial.
Moments after the former president took the stand for the first time in the $250 million trial, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron was caught in a loop, imploring Trump’s legal counsel to “control” the unruly witness while becoming increasingly irate himself.
“I beseech you to control him, if you can,” Engoron said, warning Trump attorney Christopher Kise that if the lawyers can’t control Trump, he will. “I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.”
Engoron also threatened that Trump’s lack of cooperation could be met with judgmental consequences.
“Mr. Kise, can you control your witness because I am considering drawing a negative inference on any question he might be asked?” Engoron said.
Throughout his early morning testimony, Trump skirted and dodged direct questioning, at one point trying to bait the judge by misquoting Engoron’s cited appraisal of Mar-a-Lago and at another point throwing himself a little pity party, bemoaning that the judge will rule against him “because he always rules against me.”
Trump also took a moment to announce what his lawyers had in the works, exclaiming that “as this crazy trial goes along” they will call bankers to “explain what the process is.”
“In addition to the answers being nonresponsive, they’re repetitive. We don’t have time to waste. We have one day with this witness,” Engoron said.