President Donald Trump held nothing back while testifying in court today, telling the Manhattan court that New York Attorney General Letitia James is a “political hack who wants to be governor” and “she should be ashamed of herself.”
Trump’s statement came after Judge Arthur Engoron earlier lectured the 45th president about delivering speeches during questioning.
According to a report from The Gateway Pundit, Engoron appeared to be outraged that President Trump was able to freely speak during his trial.
Engoron repeatedly attacked President Trump for his long-winded answers to questions.
Trump made several lengthy statements during the politically motivated grilling about his highly successful international business.
AG James, a Democrat, is hoping to force the Trump family to cough up $250 million over her claims that the organization was overvaluing its assets.
The court has failed to prove these allegations during the show trial.
Today News Africa White House correspondent Simon Ateba reported:
Judge Engoron told Trump, “You can attack me, you can do whatever you want. But answer the question.”
He also told him to simply answer questions and not give speeches, “Please just answer the question, no speeches,” he told Trump.
“That was a yes or no question. Please answer yes or no when you receive such a question,” Judge Engoron again told Trump.
Judge Engoron even told Trump’s attorneys to sit down, just sit down. “We are here to hear him answer questions,” Judge Engoron said.
Trump, however, said, “This is a very, very unfair trial, very. And I hope the public is watching it.”
BREAKING – BRUTAL IN NEW YORK: In case you're not paying attention, Donald Trump has taken the stand in New York and it does not seem to be a very friendly court.
For instance, Judge Engoron told Trump, “You can attack me, you can do whatever you want. But answer the question.”… pic.twitter.com/xyjD0t5SaZ
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) November 6, 2023
According to Matthew Russell Lee for Inner City Press, the questioning began with the New York Attorney General’s lawyer grilling Trump on the valuation of various properties, including the mansion at Bedford Springs and the Trump Tower.
Trump defended the valuations, the Gateway Pundit reported.
He repeatedly mentioned a “disclaimer clause” that he believed protected him from any legal repercussions.
Trump called AG Letitia James a “political hack” and made comments about the current state of the country under the new administration.
Trump’s defense largely revolved around his belief in the properties’ value and the work he had put into them. He frequently mentioned the money he had spent on renovations and improvements, arguing that these investments increased the properties’ worth.
Judge Engoran had to intervene multiple times, trying to keep Trump from explaining himself on the bogus trial.
Read the transcript via Inner City Press:
Judge Engoran: We are not here to listen to what you have to say. You are supposed to answer
Trump’s lawyer: We *are* here to hear what he has to say —
Judge Engoran: Sit down. Proceed.
NY AG lawyer: This says value based on leases
Trump: It’s estimated value
NY AG lawyer: Was the $560 million valuation based on current accurate information?
NY AG lawyer: This document is about the mansion at Bedford Springs and says it is valued at $291 million. Was that true?
Trump: I thought it was too high, we lowered it
Trump: It’s a magnificent place, someone would pay more for it if you don’t build more housing on it.
NY AG lawyer: let’s take a break.
Judge Engoran: 15 minute break. I direct the witness not to talk about the case during his testimony
Thread will continue
They’ve back. Trump back on witness stand.
NY AG lawyer: What was the basis on which you decided to drop the valuation?
Trump: I thought it was high. And they dropped it.
NY AG lawyer: So you thought it was not worth $291 million?
Trump: I might sell it for more
NY AG lawyer: When did you decide to lower the valuation?
Trump: I said, lower it
NY AG lawyer: When?
Trump: I don’t remember
NY AG lawyer: This said partnerships and joint ventures, 6th Ave and BofA in SF – are you familiar?
NY AG lawyer: It says you owned 30%. Is that true?
Trump: I didn’t put up any money. I have a great relationship with Vornado. A lot of people don’t understand that. Limited Partnership means limited liability.
NY AG lawyer: You don’t control it?
Trump: No. We have a very good relationship-
Judge Engoran: You answered the question, move on
Trump: That BofA building, I think it’s the best building on the West Coast
NY AG lawyer: The question was the value
Trump: For both?
NY AG lawyer: Yes.
Trump: That was the hottest period ever for properties. I don’t know that I’d sell my interest.
NY AG lawyer: I’m going to hand the witness a document –
Trump: The building’s been refinanced, two years ago
NY AG lawyer: There was no question
NY AG lawyer: Here’s a document, “Allan wants to talk to DJT,” does this refresh your recollection about Vornado –
Trump: No. But I probably did.
NY AG lawyer: Back to statement of financial condition. Mr. Trump, you believe $814 million value?
Trump: I think so.
NY AG lawyer: Would you get copies of the statements in 2021?
Trump: I was so busy in the White House. China, Russia, keeping our country –
NY AG lawyer: You weren’t president in 2021. Look to bottom of the page, Trump Tower triplex. You were involved?
NY AG lawyer: Plaintiff’s exhibit, row 893, other assets. Look down to 969, 971, the valuation of your apartment, it’s not actually here
Trump: I think that’s why I missed it in there.
NY AG lawyer: It says $327 million. It was too high?
Trump: I didn’t pick it up
NY AG lawyer: This is actually the 2017, I mispreseented-
Trump: That’s OK.
NY AG lawyer: This change in valuation came at your direction?
Trump: I thought it was too high. But I’m seeing things sold for big numbers. We have access to the roof
Trump: We have the disclaimer clause. We don’t have to be sued by the Attorney General of New York.
AG NY lawyer: But each floor of Trump Tower is 10,000 square feet
Trump: They didn’t take out elevator shafts and different things.
NY AG lawyer: This says 117 rooms, 20,000 sq ft ballroom – it says it is a private club, is that correct?
NY AG lawyer: It was transferred to an LLP in 1995?
Trump: Probably so, I’ve done that with other properties.
NY AG lawyer: Same today?
NY AG lawyer: Let’s pull up the supporting data, spreadsheet. Row 189. Do you believe Mar-a-Lago today is worth $1.5 billion?
Trump: I’d say between $1 billion and $1.5 billion.
NY AG lawyer: PX 1013, rights to Mar-a-Lago, do you see your signatures?
NY AG lawyer: Did you intend to forever keep it as a club?
Trump: Well, a residence and a club. Very successful.
NY AG lawyer: Do you intend–
Trump: I have the right to switch it back. It says to “intend,” it doesn’t say I will. I don’t mind leaving it as a club
Trump: The best would be to be a club with one member.
NY AG lawyer: It says whereas the National Trust is the grantee, recorded in 1995 in Palm Beach – you had granted this?
Trump: That is correct.
NY AG lawyer: Single family home?
Trump: It was, EF Hutton…
Trump: This was about easement. I built a ballroom, it was built by me. Very large. Beautiful. I have a right to develop but it is more valuable without building on it.
NY AG lawyer: You stated it would forever be a club?
Trump: No. It says intends.
NY AG lawyer: Mr. Trump, the court officer is handing you an article from the Palm Beach Post. You say, It will forever be a club. You said that in 2003?
Trump: That was said with bravado as opposed to legal intent.
NY AG lawyer: A club pays less taxes, right?
Trump: Yes. Much less.
NY AG lawyer: I ask to enter this into evidence.
Trump’s lawyer: You’ll include him saying, It could go back? The one you didn’t show him?
NY AG lawyer: OK I’ll read it. [Does]
NY AG lawyer: Let’s look at page 6, as to Item 1, private ownership – 80 qualified buyers look at it but didn’t bid, calling it a white elephant. Is it correct?
Trump: Yeah. I got lucky.
NY AG lawyer: It’s no longer a white elephant?
Trump: It is not
NY AG lawyer: Let’s turn to your golf club in Scotland. This states, 500 hectares, etc. Was this accurate, that you had permission for a residential village?
Trump: Yes, it’s the oil capital of Europe —
Judge Engoran: Irrelevant, irrelevant
NY AG lawyer: Here’s a spreadsheet. Column G, valuations…
Trump: It was very successful, on the ocean. A big development job. I don’t need to build 1000 houses. This was an artistic expression, the greatest golf course every built, I think. I’m in no rush
Trump: I’m not looking to build right now. I’m going other things right now. I just want to sit with it. It’s called an investment.
NY AG lawyer: So you’re not building.
Trump: I am building. A second course. I’m not looking to build a big development.
NY AG lawyer: You did not build a hotel at Aberdeen?
Trump: Because I didn’t want to. I have a castle. At some point I’ll go there and build, maybe
NY AG lawyer: What about the $240 million increase in valuation? Go down to 49, well, no – it goes from $76 million
NY AG lawyer: This says the valuation is based on 2500 homes but this comes to 1400, so it doesn’t accurately include the number of homes?
Trump: I could go with a big job if I had to. It’s a rich place. It may be the greatest golf course ever built.
Judge Engoran (to NY AG lawyer): I’m following your lead if you want to let him ramble on.
NY AG lawyer: I want to preserve it for the record.
Trump’s lawyer: It’s not clear if he’s answering about the backup data.
NY AG lawyer: I don’t think it was answered
NY AG lawyer: The number of homes don’t match?
Trump: It’s like a painting. The land is there. You can do what you want to do. You can do either one of them.
NY AG lawyer: What about windmills?
Trump: I was not happy. They built them –
NY AG lawyer: Scotland?
Trump: I’m not a windmill person. And I think I’ve been proven to be right.
NY AG lawyer: But Mr Weisselberg told the UK regulators the Trump Org did not intend to develop due to windmills?
Trump: They’re probably come down one day. They are miles out.
Trump: That was in 2014, that we were fighting the windmills… There’s nothing wrong with sitting and waiting, if you have the money. And I’ve got a lot for money, more than you thought
[laughter in the courtroom]
NY AG lawyer: Do you stand by this?
Trump: I haven’t looked at it in years. Carry it forward to 2021, all of those valuation were too low… We have the disclaimer clause, they always hold up in court except maybe in this court
Trump: It says, You must do your own due diligence.
NY AG lawyer: Do you still stand behind these statements?
Trump: Yes. You haven’t shown me anything to make me disbelieve. Again, even if it was material, we have a disclaimer clause that says don’t count on this
Trump: That clause is on page 1, that’s why I didn’t get involved in these things. We shouldn’t be having a case here. Every court in this country upholds these clauses except this particular judge.
Trump: People like you go around to try to demean me and hurt me. People like her
[an “Oooh” goes up in the courtroom]
NY AG lawyer: Was Allan not careful?
Trump: He was. But there was the disclaimer clause, also called the non-reliance clause. This is disgraceful
NY AG lawyer: I move to strike as non responsive and argumentative.
Trump’s lawyer: Mr. Wallace is getting what he asked for. It’s a brilliant answer. We could do this again in 3 weeks. Let him explain his position.
Judge Engoran: Leave it in.
NY AG lawyer: You don’t believe the AG’s positions?
Trump: I think she is a political hack who wants to be governor. It’s a disgrace this case is going on. Legal scholars agree with me. This is a political witch hunt and I think she should be ashamed of herself
NY AG lawyer: Do you agree with the AG these are overvalued?
Trump’s lawyer: Asked and answered.
Judge Engoran: No! It is not been answered!
Trump’s lawyer Habba: It has been. And I am not yelling.
Trump: Disclaimer clause
Judge: No, we’re not going to hear about that. Read my opinion about that-
Trump: He called me a fraud & he didn’t know anything about me
NY AG lawyer: You do not agree with the determination of the court?
Trump: The fraud is on the court
Trump: He said Mar-a-Lago is worth $18 million, what a fraud. As President of the US, we did a great job. Just look at the president we have today. It’s a terrible thing you’ve done. You believed that political hack back there
NY AG lawyer: I’d like to go back to the statement of financial condition, it says Donald J. Trump was responsible for designing and implementing internal controls relative to the presentation of these statements. What did you do on this?
Trump: Accounting firm
Trump: They charged me a lot of money for this, a lot of money. I could have just put a number down. But I got expensive lawyers.
NY AG lawyer: You told Mr. Weisselberg to use GAAP?
Trump: I said, give the accountants what they want.
NY AG lawyer: Who was responsible for being compliant with GAAP?
Trump: I’m not sure it’s required. But accountants were paid a lot of money.
NY AG lawyer: Do what did you do?
Trump: I’ve answered that five times.
NY AG lawyer: What is the answer?
NY AG lawyer: So the Trump Organization was responsible to comply with GAAP?
Trump: Together with the very highly paid accounting firm.
NY AG lawyer: Who in the Trump Organization was responsible?
Trump: Everybody. If anybody sees anything wrong, report it.
Trump: I tell people, come to me directly.
NY AG lawyer: Did anyone do so?
Trump: Sure. I hear things. Apartments supposed to be empty, but someone let someone on. I take care of it. I don’t want that going on. I’m back for a little bit in the real estate business
NY AG lawyer: Let’s talk about 40 Wall Street. The N.O.I. is accurate?
Trump: Long ago but I think so.
NY AG lawyer: I’m handing up a document that has not been pre-marked, an article, that the audio from September 21, 2015–
Trump: Forbes is owned by China
Trump: Have a good net worth is a positive thing, can’t say it’s not.
NY AG lawyer: It says it’s marketed as a 72 story building but it’s shorter. That it throws off $50 million a year
Trump: I haven’t dealt with Forbes in years. I think they are out of business.
NY AG lawyer: Did you tell Forbes this?
Trump: No. When was this?
NY AG lawyer: 2015.
Trump: Long time ago. I don’t know.
NY AG lawyer: Play the audio clip.
Trump’s lawyer: It’s indecipherable.
NY AG lawyer: Does it refresh your recollection?
Trump: No. It’s long past the statute of limitations.
NY AG lawyer: Let’s go to page 2. You spent millions of dollars?
Trump: I spent my own money. We rebuilt the elevators and the lobbies. It’s been successful.
NY AG lawyer: This shows negative cash flow for 40 Wall St. Do you agree?
Trump: That doesn’t include all that was spent to bring the building up. Now it’s leased up.
NY AG lawyer: So the number could be correct?
Trump: This has nothing to do, this is de minimus
Trump: She doesn’t know what 40 Wall Street is worth. She doesn’t even know where 40 Wall Street it. It’s going to do very well in the future.
NY AG lawyer: Are you aware of the method?
Trump: I can look at buildings and tell you what they’re worth.
Trump: You have to spend money to make money. It’s not material. Now they says, let’s take all his properties away like they do in Communist China. In this country today, a certain judge could do it.
NY AG lawyer: You’re repeating yourself
NY AG lawyer: This says negative cash flow. Did you know?
Trump: It could have been, for one year. It make a lot of money now. You have extraordinary expenses. The money we borrowed is all current, paid off. Not one bank lost money.
NY AG lawyer: PX 3341, email with Donald Trump Jr., and the Wall St Journal. Is this your email address?
Trump: I don’t know.
NY AG lawyer: Did you communicate with the WSJ about this?
Trump: I don’t know.
NY AG lawyer: Who said it was worth $600 million?
Trump: It could have been worth more than that.
NY AG lawyer: Was there an appraisal?
Trump: 12 year ago? I don’t know.
NY AG lawyer: Did you tell this to WSJ?
Trump’s lawyer: Asked and answered
Judge: Five-minute warning.
NY AG lawyer: Why did you have a statement of financial condition?
Trump: I can’t answer that. But I think it’s a positive thing to have, even for myself. But with the disclaimed clause, no one relied on it.
NY AG lawyer: Did you deal with the private wealth management group at Deutsche Bank?
Judge Engoran: Break for lunch. Witness not to discuss this case.