Former President Donald Trump set off fireworks when he suddenly stormed out of a New York courtroom, leaving his Secret Service detail scrambling after him amid gasps from those who watched.
In court on Wednesday for the civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Trump abruptly left the room after throwing up his arms following Judge Arthur Engoron’s refusal to end the trial after testimony from Michael Cohen.
The drama on Wednesday also included Trump having to take the witness stand for a moment, talking to reporters outside the courtroom – where there were questions about whether he violated the gag order – and the former president being slapped with a $10,000 fine by the judge.
According to NBC News:
Asked if Trump or Weisselberg directed him to inflate the numbers on his personal statement, Cohen said: “Not that I recall.”
Cliff Robert, an attorney for the Trumps, then asked for a directed verdict, arguing that the key witness testified that the defendant didn’t tell Cohen to inflate the numbers. The judge denied the request.
Trump immediately got up and stormed out of the courtroom with Secret Service agents chasing after him. The move was not expected and appeared to surprise even his attorneys. Gasps could be heard within the courtroom.
“The witness just admitted that we won the trial and the judge should end this trial immediately. Thank you,” Trump said to reporters outside the courtroom.
— CCBee (@SeaSeaBee) October 25, 2023
Earlier, Trump had taken the witness stand after he had made the comments about the judge and “a very partisan person sitting alongside him”, which he and his legal team insisted was Cohen. But the judge took it to be his clerk, whom Trump has criticized before.
After questioning from Engoron, the judge said he did not find Trump to be credible and fined him.
After the drama, Attorney General Letitia James fired off at the former president outside of the coutrroom.
“This has been a four-year investigation, and there is mountains of evidence which basically corroborate the testimony of a number of witnesses,” she said.
“It’s also important to know that Michael Cohen is not the main witness. His evidence has been corroborated by the mountains of evidence, enough evidence to fill the courtroom. And so I look forward again to this trial continuing. And I look always, and I have, of course, I always look forward to justice,” she continued.
“There is sufficient evidence to prove that, in fact, Mr. Trump, the Trump Organization and the other defendants committed widespread fraud,” James added.