(FixThisNation.com) – In a recent assessment, legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance criticized the leniency shown by Judge Arthur Engoron during Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York. Vance’s critique centered around an incident in the Manhattan courtroom where Trump was permitted to deliver an extended, unscripted address during the trial’s closing arguments.
The lawsuit, initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James in 2022, accuses Trump and senior executives at The Trump Organization of inflating Trump’s net worth by billions to facilitate more favorable deals and loans from banks and insurers. Trump, currently a leading Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential nomination, has consistently denied these allegations, dismissing them as politically motivated.
In an atypical move, Trump expressed a desire to personally deliver the closing arguments in this trial, where damages initially set at $250 million were later increased to $370 million, plus interest. Judge Engoron ultimately rejected Trump’s request to speak, setting conditions to prevent the address from becoming a politically charged monologue, discussing irrelevant topics, or introducing new evidence.
Despite these restrictions, Trump was allowed a six-minute speech in court, where he criticized both the judge and James and maintained his innocence. Judge Engoron only intervened to adjourn the court for lunch.
In her Civil Discourse blog, Vance argued that this allowance by Judge Engoron was a bending of the rules, noting that Trump wasn’t under oath and didn’t adhere to the earlier set guidelines. She emphasized the importance of the legal system treating Trump as it would any other individual, without special treatment. Vance expressed concern that such leniency does not serve justice and urged the courts to apply standard legal procedures to Trump without fear of potential backlash.
The trial’s focus is on determining the extent of penalties Trump will face, following Judge Engoron’s prior ruling that Trump had indeed committed fraud by misrepresenting the value of his properties in financial statements. The potential consequences for Trump include a ban on conducting business in New York, loss of control over his properties, or a substantial monetary fine. Judge Engoron has indicated a decision will be made by January 31.
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