If photos from the start of Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York City are any indication — and they most certainly are — the Republican presidential candidate went through the gamut of angry and angrier emotions as he and his legal team were forced to defend themselves from allegations that have already been proven to be extremely valid.
The fact that the so-called “law and order president” had to stand trial not only in his hometown but also in front of the media turned the orange tinge from Trump’s apparent spray tan to a steadily brightening red hue. The only thing seemingly missing from Trump’s “bigly” mad visage was the proverbial steam coming from out of his ears as he sat seething in a courtroom presided over by a smiling judge.
Trump sat silent in the courtroom, but his behavior spoke volumes. When outside of the courtroom, he made sure his voice and grievances were heard as he reiterated desperate accusations of racism against Letitia James, New York state’s first Black attorney general who last year sued the former president and his children in a $250 million lawsuit for “intentional and deliberate fraud” stemming from allegations they falsely inflated the value of the Trump Organization company over the course of a decade.
It was in that same context that James also sat stoically in the same courtroom on Monday with her steady gaze fixed on Trump, whole face remained in a scowl.
The courtroom proceedings began exactly one week after the same judge presiding over the civil fraud trial ruled that Trump, his company and its employees intentionally overstated – or lied – about his and the company’s wealth and monetary value. The lies translated into “favorable loan terms and lower insurance costs,” the Associated Press reported.
Judge Arthur Engoron’s ruling last week is expected to prevent Trump’s company from ever doing business again in the state of New York.
That ruling also set the stage for the start of the civil fraud trial and all but guarantees Trump will be found guilty by Engoron, who noted – to Trump’s chagrin – that defense attorneys failed to request a jury trial and therefore are leaving the former president’s fate up to the judge to determine.
The civil fraud trial is expected to last more than a month and comes at a time when Trump is not only the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in the middle of campaign season but he also is facing four criminal indictments, one of which is federal.
The prospect of prison in those cases is real, something which is undoubtedly at the forefront of Trump’s mind as his questionable finances are scrutinized in public during the civil fraud trial.
Considering Trump’s expressed and well-documented disdain particularly for Black women, perhaps enraging him most of all is that a Black woman is all but asured to get the last laugh at his expense.
“For years, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth to enrich himself and cheat the system,” James said in a statement Monday. “No matter how rich or powerful you are, there are not two sets of laws for people in this country.”
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