Donald Trump and his family business stand trial in New York in a civil fraud case that could deal a major blow to the former US president’s real estate empire.
The New York fraud lawsuit that could cost former President Donald Trump control of some of his most prized properties has gone on trial. Opening statements began Monday, October 2, 2023. New York state lawyers vow to hold Trump accountable. Trump arrived at court denouncing the case as a politically motivated “scam,” telling reporters that the trial is a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt.”
He went on to slam Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing the case, as a “rogue judge,” and said James is a “racist attorney general.”
“We have a racist attorney general who is a horror show who ran on the basis that she’s going to get Trump before she knew anything about me,” he said.
“It’s a scam, it’s a sham. Just so you know, my financial statements are phenomenal,” the former president continued. “There was no crime — the crime was against me.”
He then suggested the charges were coming down from the Department of Justice because he is the Republican front-runner: “What we have here is an attempt to hurt me in an election.”
Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James’ suit accuses the Republican ex-president and his company of deceiving banks, insurers and others by habitually lying about his wealth in financial statements.
The judge already has ruled Trump committed fraud in his business dealings. If the ruling is upheld on appeal, it could force Trump to give up several New York properties.