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We Forgot Trump Is Still On Trial In New York Too. It's Going Very Badly For Him!
We have neglected to keep you up to date on this one of Trump's 19 current trials!
In all the excitement of watching Jim Jordan continue to humiliate himself with losing House speaker votes, we almost missed the news out of Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York, where on Friday morning the judge in the case chewed out the sentient adult diaper and his lawyers because Ol’ Bronzer Face just spent over two weeks violating his gag order.
Judge Arthur Engoron — who has been presiding over this trial out of … four? seven? nineteen? — opened today’s proceedings by noting that on October 3, he had ordered Trump to remove from social media a post by the former president in which he suggested that a picture someone dug up of Engoron’s court clerk with Sen. Chuck Schumer at some fundraiser or other event was evidence the clerk was sleeping with the married, elderly grandfather. Which means RIGGED! WITCH HUNT! ALL CAPS EXCLAMATION POINT!
The judge also ordered Trump to not say anything publicly, at all, about any of the courtroom’s staff. Thursday night, the watchdog group Meidas Touch brought the judge’s attention to the fact that while the offending post disappeared from Trump’s social media accounts, it remained visible on his website. The judge was not pleased:
“I understand it was removed late last night, but only in response to an email from this court. In the current climate, incendiary untruths can and in some cases already has led to serious physical harm and worse. I will now grant defendants the opportunity to explain why this blatant violation of the gag order should not result in serious sanctions including financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt and possibly imprisoning him.”
Your Honor, the press requests a brief recess to relieve their poorly timed erections.
Chris Kise, Trump’s lead attorney, swore up and down that this had been a simple oversight. Sure, Donald Trump makes so many threats against innocent people and also his brain is a mold-riddled carton of Greek yogurt, he can’t possibly be expected to remember where he posted all of them.
And this is all after Engoron already fined Trump a whole bunch of money for sucking — excuse us, for ignoring orders to provide the DA with company documents — way back when the case first landed in his court.
Kise apologized on behalf of his client, Engoron said he would take it “under advisement,” and then the court got on with the day’s business of gathering testimony from Trump employees about all the ways his company defrauded the state of New York for decades.
Trump has already been found guilty of fraud and is only going through the process of a trial so the court can decide just how deeply to punish him and his organization — haggling over the price, as it were. Friday’s incident is just the latest example of all the ways the trial is not going well for the former president and future convicted felon.
For starters, a week ago the testimony of his former CFO, Allan Weisselberg, was cut short when Forbes accused him of perjuring himself on the stand over his role in covering up Trump inflating the net worth of his Trump Tower penthouse by tripling its size on paper.
The evidence came from a series of Weisselberg’s emails that somehow the New York Attorney General’s Office had missed while building its case:
Weisselberg insisted on Tuesday from the witness stand that he “never focused” on calculating the square footage of the former president’s Trump Tower triplex, a three-floor penthouse in his namesake skyscraper.
Two days later, on Thursday, Forbes reported that emails not currently in the attorney general’s possession show otherwise.
Whoops! Now the New York Attorney General is requesting an even deeper forensic exam of Trump Organization emails that included Weisselberg, and who knows what other goodies that might turn up.
Also this week, a Trump Organization executive testified that Weisselberg told him Trump wanted to puff up his net worth on his financial statements, which would have allowed him to keep getting hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from Deutsche Bank, which by the 2010s was about the only bank dumb enough to still be loaning Donald Trump money.
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A couple of days later, a real estate executive denied that he had assessed Trump’s building at 40 Wall Street — the tallest building downtown after 9/11, as Trump bragged on television on fucking 9/11 — as being worth $735 million in 2016:
During cross-examination, Larson was shown his interview with the attorney general’s office from late 2019, where he emphasized that he was not responsible for the $735 million valuation.
“It’s not my valuation, yes,” Larson said on Oct. 29, 2019. “It could be his valuation or Trump’s valuation, but it’s not my valuation.”
Trump’s lawyers are using this as evidence that such valuations are subjective, but that’s not really true. Assessors use all sorts of criteria to arrive at these valuations. Trump and his company seem to mostly use whatever Trump feels like something is worth on any given day. No, really, he’s admitted that before.
And while we were writing this, Chris Kise gave Judge Engoron some data indicating that while Trump’s smear of his clerk might have sat up on his website for an extra 17 days, metrics show that not very many people actually read it. So he’s got that going for him, we guess.
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