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Former President Donald Trump appeared to stun his Secret Service detail when he suddenly stormed out of a Manhattan courtroom after tense exchanges with Judge Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing a trial involving civil fraud allegations in a lawsuit brought by Attorney General Letitia James.
According to reports, Trump’s temper got the best of him Wednesday afternoon when Engoron deemed him “not credible” and hit him with another fine for allegedly violating a gag order that prevents him from speaking out against Engoron’s court staff.
Trump exclaimed, “Unbelievable,” under his breath, threw up his arms, and then stormed out of the courtroom. Outside of it, he told reporters, “The witness just admitted that we won the trial, and the judge should end this trial immediately.”
Earlier, former Trump fixer and attorney Michael Cohen testified against his former boss. And during a break in the trial, Trump told reporters outside that Engoron is “a very partisan judge.”
“This judge is a very partisan judge with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside of him,” Trump said. “Even much more partisan than he is.”
Engoron issued the gag order Oct. 3 after he said Trump posted something on Truth Social that Engoron called “disparaging, untrue and personally-identifying” about law clerk Allison Greenfield.
After Trump ranted about Cohen, the prosecutor, and the fraud trial itself, a reporter asked Trump as he turned to go back into the courtroom: “President Trump, did you violate the gag order just now?”
Back in the courtroom, Engoron called Trump to the witness stand and asked him to whom he was referring out in the hallway. After Trump said it was Cohen, Engoron said he didn’t find the answer credible and slapped Trump with a $10,000 fine.
“Did you say, ‘This judge is a very partisan judge with a person who is very partisan sitting alongside of him’?” Engoron asked Trump, according to the New York Post.
Trump stated that he did, but said that he was referring to Cohen and his testimony.
“You sure you didn’t mean the person on the other side, my principal law clerk?” the judge pressed.
“Yes,” Trump replied, “I’m sure.”
Greenfield, Trump added, was “maybe unfair.”
“I think she’s very biased against us,” Trump noted further.
“I find the witness is not credible,” Engoron declared before fining Trump.
Donald Trump abruptly leaves the courtroom after Judge Engoron denies his defense’s request for a directed verdict:
“The witness just admitted that we won the trial. And the judge should end this trial immediately.” pic.twitter.com/31tyEyV7d3
— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) October 25, 2023
Around 45 minutes later, Engoron emphatically denied a defense motion for a directed verdict, which sent Trump into a rage and saw him storm out, leaving his Secret Service detail scrambling and eliciting gasps throughout the courtroom, according to an MSNBC account.
“In fact, former President Trump just stormed out of the courtroom. To everyone’s surprise, some gasps and the court has Secret Service agents chasing him. The motorcade lining up for him right now after taking the stand,” correspondent Dasha Burns told host Katy Tur.
She went on to say, per Mediaite:
Afterwards, the cross-examination of Michael Cohen continued. At one point, Trump’s attorney asked the judge for a direct verdict because, quote, “The state’s key witness has just testified the defendant did not inflate his numbers,” essentially asking the judge to finish the case and the trial right there. The judge immediately denied that motion, and that is when the former president stood up and angrily stormed out of the courtroom.
Cohen, after Trump left the courtroom, claimed from the stand that the former president “speaks like a mob boss.”
“He tells you what he wants without specifically telling you,” Cohen told the court. “We understood what he wanted.”
“He said, ‘I lied,’ numerous times,” Trump told reporters regarding Cohen’s testimony. “And then he said, as per the best television show you’ll ever imagine, he said, me, ‘I did not ask him to manipulate figures.’’”
“That should be the end of the case,” he added.