Trump not allowed to give closing arguments in NY civil trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump won't make his own closing argument in New York Civil commercial fraud investigation After his lawyers objected to the judge's insistence that the former president stick to “relevant” matters.

Judge Arthur Engoren The permit was revoked on Wednesday, a day before closing arguments at the hearing.

The investigation will cost Trump Hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and remove his ability to do business in New York. His lawyers signaled last week that he planned to take the unusual step of Giving a sum in personIn addition to the arguments of his legal team.

Trump is the defendant in the suit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James. He claims his net worth was boosted by billions of dollars in financial statements that helped secure business loans and insurance.

The former president and current Republican 2024 front-runner denies any wrongdoing and has slammed the case as a “hoax” and a political attack on him. James and Judge were Democrats.

It is very unusual for those with lawyers to present their own closing arguments. In An email exchange It happened in recent days and was filed in court on Wednesday, with Engoron initially approving the unusual request, saying it “included allowing everyone to have their say.”

But he said Trump should limit his comments to the scope of the lawyers' closing arguments: “a commentary on the relevant, material facts in the evidence and an application of the law relevant to those facts.”

He will not be allowed to introduce new evidence, “comment on irrelevant matters” or “deliver a campaign speech” — or impeach the judge, his staff, the attorney general, his lawyers or the court system, the judge wrote.

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Trump lawyer Christopher Kiss responded that the limits were “fraught with ambiguities, creating substantial opportunity for misinterpretation or unintended violation. Engoron said they were “reasonable, normal limits,” but Kiss called them “grossly unreasonable.”

“You cannot allow President Trump, who has been wrongfully discredited and discredited by an out-of-control, politically motivated attorney general, to talk about the things that need to be talked about,” the lawyer wrote.

Having not heard from Trump's lawyers as of midday Wednesday, Engoron wrote that he assumed Trump did not agree to the ground rules and therefore would not speak.

Taking on a role usually performed by a lawyer can be dangerous for any defendant. But Trump's willingness to address the court was even more dangerous because he had already misled the judge about prior comments about the case.

Engron imposed a limit Cock order, after Trump posted a disparaging social media post about the judge's law clerk on the second day of the hearing in October, barred all trial participants from commenting on court staff. The post contained a mischievous innuendo about the clerk's personal life.

The judge then imposed fines totaling $15,000, citing Trump's repeated violations of the order. Trump's defense team has appealed.

During a recent email exchange about Trump's possible collusion, Engoron warned Trump's lawyers that if the former president violated the gag order, he would be removed from the courtroom and fined at least $50,000.

Trump testified He defended himself and his real estate empire in a verbal spat with the judge and prosecutors at the November hearing. He considered but skipped a second round of testimony during part of the trial when his own attorneys called witnesses. After teasing the returning look, he changed course and said, “No more to say.”

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