Trump testifies in fiery courtroom showdown with Judge Engoron
On Monday, former President Donald Trump took the stand in the New York civil case brought against him by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D).
Trump's first round of testimony, according to USA Today, involved plenty of fireworks.
The outlet noted:
In a day of drama that included table banging, demands to "control" the former president, and a declaration from the state attorney general that "I will not be bullied, I will not be harassed," the two sides sparred in a civil fraud trial with $250 million in damages and the future of Trump's New York state business on the line.
Judge Arthur Engoron, who has been accused of being an anti-Trump judge to begin with, generated headlines for his bizarre behavior during the trial, including several outbursts.
The president took several shots at James, including at one point telling the judge, "you believed this political hack."
Trump was referencing the unprecedented summary judgement brought before the trial by the judge, essentially hamstringing Trump's defense lawyers and placing his business empire at great risk.
The former president sparred with the judge, especially on the subject of the ridiculously low values that were placed on his properties, including his Mar-a-Lago estate.
"The most valuable asset was the brand asset, but I didn’t put it on the statement…If I wanted to build up a statement, like you said, I would have added the brand value here," Trump said at one point, causing the judge to address Trump's attorneys.
"Can you control your client? This is not a political rally: this is a courtroom," Engoron said.
Trump has long argued that the case is nothing more than a political witch hunt, slamming James for pursuing the case to gain political credit within her party and for future campaigns.
He also reiterated before the trial that there were no victims in the case.
"There was no victim here – the banks were represented by the best, biggest, most prestigious law firms in the state of New York – actually in the country, some of the biggest law firms," Trump said when the trial began.
He added, "The banks got back their money, there was never a default, it was never a problem, everything was perfect. There was no crime."
Trump's oldest sons, Don Jr. and Eric, have already testified. Ivanka Trump is scheduled to testify Wednesday.