Judge Arthur Engoron initiates the banking process new York Supreme Court following its stunning 35-page decision approving New York’s attorney general Letitia James a partial ruling in her favor based on claims in her lawsuit, which alleges a decade-long fraud that inflated the former president’s net worth by hundreds of millions of dollars.
The judge concluded that a trial was not necessary to find that Mr. Trump’s financial reports were fraudulent, resolving a key allegation in the case while six other so-called “causes of action” from the lawsuit remain to be resolved .
Mr. Trump has repeatedly lashed out at the judge, who has been baselessly accused of launching a political attack against the former president. But Mr. Trump and his co-defendants could have avoided an outcome set by Judge Engoron if their lawyers had simply requested a jury.
The judge explained on the first day of the trial Oct. 2 that the case had no jury because neither side “asked for it.”
Just moments earlier, surrounded by news cameras in a hallway outside the courtroom, the former president called for an investigation into Judge Engoron during a makeshift news conference.
In July, a Form completed in Ms. James’ office contained a box with two options: “trial by jury required” or “trial without jury.” The filing contains a check mark for “trial without jury.”
Mr. Trump’s lawyers did not fill out that form.
On his Truth Social following the judge’s ruling last week, Mr. Trump falsely claimed that the judge had “dragged” a “false case” through the judicial channels that had denied him “everything.”
“No trial, no jury,” he wrote.
On the first day of the trial, Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba claimed that her client “wanted a jury.”
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohenwhose recorded statement was included in the plaintiffs’ opening statements and is expected to be a critical witness against his former boss in the coming weeks, had previously suggested that Ms. Habba had “made a terrible mistake” in forgetting have to “check a certain box”. .”
“By unchecking a particular box that was a jury trial, it is now a jury trial, leaving Judge Engoron alone to decide the amount of damages.” he told CNN.
Mr. Engoron, who spoke slowly and deliberately as he laid out the course of the trial, which is expected to last more than two months, has pledged to conduct the case fairly.
“I promise to do my best,” he said in his opening speech. “Despite my lame attempts at humor, I take my job very seriously and I know the lawyers and parties do the same.”