Defiant Trump Arrives for Trial: Americans Won't 'Stand for It'

Former president is in New York City over lawsuit alleging business fraud
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 2, 2023 9:11 AM CDT
Updated Oct 2, 2023 10:19 AM CDT
Trump Arrives at NYC Court for Fraud Trial
Former President Donald Trump, right, sits in the courtroom at New York Supreme Court on Monday.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Updated with new details. Donald Trump on Monday denounced the civil fraud case over his business practices as a politically motivated "scam" as he arrived defiantly in New York City for a trial in the lawsuit. "This is a continuation of the single greatest witch hunt of all time," he said as he made a voluntary trip to a New York court for a trial that could cost him control of Trump Tower and other prized properties. He called the case "an attempt to hurt me in an election," he added, per the AP. "I don't think the people of this country are going to stand for it." He looked away from New York Attorney Letitia James as he passed her on the way into court, with a disgusted look on his face.

The suit accuses Trump and his company of deceiving banks, insurers, and others by habitually lying about his wealth in financial statements. Judge Arthur Engoron already has ruled that Trump committed fraud in his business dealings. In the non-jury trial that got underway Monday, Engoron will decide on six other claims in the lawsuit, including financial damages. James, a Democrat, is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York. The judge's ruling last week, if upheld on appeal, could force Trump to give up New York properties including Trump Tower, a Wall Street office building, golf courses, and a suburban estate.

James, for her part, had this to say before the trial, per CNN: "My message is simple: No matter how powerful you are, no matter how much money you think you may have, no one is above the law." She added, per Barron's, that "the law is both powerful and fragile, and today in court we will prove our case." (Trump also struck a defiant tone on Truth Social over the lawsuit.)

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