What is happening so far at Donald Trump’s fraud trial?: The former president has a trial in progress- not one of the criminal ones, but rather his civil fraud trial in New York. Reports are it’s not going great for the ex-president.
Donald Trump Is In Trouble
Late last month, a judge ruled against former President Donald Trump, ahead of his planned fraud trial. The ruling from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron found that the former president must lose his businesses in that state, which must go into receivership.
Trump won a temporary stay of that ruling last week, but Trump has still had to go on trial in New York and is expected to ask for a stronger stay later this week.
According to Mother Jones, in a dispatch after the first day of the trial, the former president “really isn’t trying to win” the trial.
Instead, the former president—perhaps aware that the case against him appears to be overwhelming—is seeking to derail the proceedings in any way he can,” the report said.
The New York Times reported last week about what has gone on so far, through the first four days, in Trump’s fraud trial.
The case was brought by the office of Letitia James, the state attorney general of New York, and it is not a criminal trial, but James’ office is seeking a penalty of $250 million, and to bar Trump and his two oldest sons from doing business in the state of New York.
In opening statements, the Times said, James’ office claims that Trump “arbitrarily assigned values to individual assets,” while Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
On Wednesday, the judge in the case explained why it is not a jury trial.
According to CBS News, Judge Engoron stated that while Trump did not request a jury trial, he would not have been granted one if he had asked. He said that James’ office had checked a box asking for a non-jury trial, while Trump’s legal team had a chance to do that but did not.
“It would not have helped to make a motion. Nobody forgot to check off a box,” the judge said. While some media reports had indicated that Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, had screwed up by filing the paperwork improperly, she thanked the judge for clarifying that.
“I would like to say thank you, your honor,” Habba said Thursday at the trial. “Press, did you hear that? I didn’t forget to check the box.”
Other attorneys representing the former president were in a less thankful mood this week, according to the New York Times.
Lawyers representing Trump in his federal cases this week accused Special Counsel Jack Smith of “violating Mr. Trump’s due process rights” by seeking to bring a case against him quickly, and possibly as soon as election day of next year.
“The fact that they continue to contend that it is appropriate and not a violation of President Trump’s due process rights to push forward with back-to-back multi-month trials in different districts with wholly different facts — over a defendant’s objection — reveals a central truth about these cases,” Christopher M. Kise, Trump’s criminal lawyer, said in the papers, as cited by the newspaper. “The special counsel’s office is engaged in a reckless effort to try to obtain a conviction of President Trump prior to the 2024 election, no matter the cost.”
Smith is prosecuting Trump in both his documents case in Florida and his federal election interference case.
“None of the issues raised in the defendants’ motion warrants the continuance they request,” Smith’s legal filing stated.
“Reports, transcripts, and recordings of interviews with potential witnesses—essentially, the blueprint of the Government’s case-in-chief—have been made available within days of arraignment for all defendants, even though the Court’s scheduling order authorizes the Government to delay production of such materials until just before trial,” the filing added.
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.