Facebook Twitter

Trump gets last words in NYC civil fraud trial

Donald Trump: ‘They want to make sure that I don’t win again and this is partially election interference’

SHARE Trump gets last words in NYC civil fraud trial
Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends the closing arguments in the civil fraud trial in Manhattan, on Jan. 11, 2024.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump and lawyer Christopher Kise attend the closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. Trump made some closing remarks on Thursday in the courtroom until Judge Arthur Engoron cut him off.

Shannon Stapleton, pool photo via Associated Press

After previously being denied the opportunity to make closing arguments in his New York civil fraud trial, former President Donald Trump’s attorney, Chris Kise, asked Judge Arthur Engoron on Thursday if he would reconsider. After asking Trump if he would agree only to discuss issues relative to the case, Engoron was met with an immediate response from Trump.

“The facts are the financial statements are perfect, that there are no witnesses against us. The banks got all their money paid back. There were great loans,” Trump said in court on Thursday, according to CNN.

“We have a situation where I’m an innocent man I’ve been persecuted by somebody running for office and I think you have to go outside the bounds,” Trump added. “What’s happened here sir is a fraud on me. They want to make sure that I don’t win again and this is partially election interference.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James is the person Trump is apparently referring to as “somebody running for office,” per The New York Times. Trump’s comments were not televised.

The civil fraud lawsuit by James “alleges that Trump and his corporate entities have exaggerated the value of real estate assets for the purposes of misleading lenders and insurance companies and boosting Trump’s reputation as a successful entrepreneur,” as the Deseret News previously reported.

James is seeking at least $370 million in damages and barring Trump from ever being able to do business in the state of New York. Trump’s company and two of his sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., are also defendants.

Trump spoke no longer than five minutes at the defense table until Engoron told him he had one minute left to speak, and soon after, he asked Kise to control his client, The New York Times reported.

Engoron said would have a decision by Jan. 31. 

Closing arguments followed by a press conference

After the lunch break, Trump did not return to the courtroom.

Following his closing arguments, Trump spoke at a press conference in the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan.

“My legal issues, every one of them, every one — civil and criminal ones — are all set up by Joe Biden. Crooked Joe Biden,” Trump said, according to Fox News. “This is something that’s never happened in this country, even when you look at this, this is all about Biden.”

As the GOP front-runner in the 2024 presidential election against Biden, Trump claimed the lawsuits against him are a form of cheating from the Democratic Party.

“You can’t have two tiers of justice in this country,” Trump said. “These are all set up by Biden and the Democrats. This is their new form of cheating. This is like last time. This is their new form of cheating. So far, I think it’s gone very much against them,” per Fox News.

The New York civil fraud case is just one of four separate indictment cases the former president is being faced with, along with “91 felony charges across four states while running his latest campaign for the presidency,” The New York Times reported.