Judge tells Trump’s lawyer at trial, ‘control your client’

Former US president Donald Trump, in court on Thursday as part of his civil trial on fraud charges, directly addressed the judge overseeing his proceedings, declaring “This is a fraud on me!” and telling the judge, “You have your own agenda,” according to a report by NBC News.

“Please control your client,” the judge chastened the lawyer of the former president, according to Politico.

Trump, who is currently facing 91 criminal charges in addition to civil lawsuits and ongoing legal disputes regarding his eligibility to run for president again in 2024, was allowed to speak at the trial, which was not a foregone conclusion.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends the closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, US, January 11, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Pool)

Judge demanded that Trump stay on topic

Before the trial, the former president had requested the right to deliver his own closing remarks, but the judge demanded that Trump agree to stick to the topic of the case, without veering off on tangents: “In particular,” Judge Arthur Engoron had written, “[Trump] may not deliver a campaign speech.”

Trump’s legal team could not guarantee that their client would comply.

Nevertheless, the ex-president’s lawyer requested on Thursday that his client be able to speak after all. “Do you promise,” Judge Engoron asked, “to just comment on the facts and the law?,” according to a report in US News. 

Trump did not respond to the judge’s question before launching into his monologue.

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