Trump and His Attorneys Make ‘Spiteful’ and ‘Antagonist’ Remarks About Haters in NY Civil Fraud Trial

Trump and His Attorneys Make ‘Spiteful’ and ‘Antagonist’ Remarks About Haters in NY Civil Fraud Trial
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Michael M. Santiago

Former President Donald Trump and his legal team have adopted a strategy of calculated antagonism in his ongoing civil fraud trial in New York, designed to provoke the presiding judge, Arthur Engoron, into a significant reaction. The aim is to create a scenario where the judge's actions can be leveraged for a potential appeal in the case. This controversial approach has raised eyebrows and generated considerable attention, as it walks a fine line between legal tactics and political maneuvering.

Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Brandon Bell
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Brandon Bell

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The strategy of antagonizing a judge to elicit reversible errors is not a new concept in the legal world. Celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who defended Trump during his first impeachment, has pointed to the "Chicago 7 disruption strategy," which involves pushing the judge to the point of making significant mistakes that could lead to convictions or verdicts being reversed on appeal. Trump's legal team appears to be banking on this approach, as per Y! News.



Recent developments in the trial have showcased the extent of Trump's defiance, including attacks on Judge Engoron's court clerk, repetitive questioning of prosecution witnesses, and raising prohibited legal arguments. Trump has even questioned whether the judge might order his remand to jail, although it's considered unlikely by legal experts. The former president has been advised that even if remanded, legal maneuvers could likely prevent him from spending time behind bars. Some of Trump's advisors have reached out to outside attorneys to prepare for such a scenario, albeit with mixed success.


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Intriguingly, discussions have also emerged within Trump's 2024 campaign team about the potential fundraising boost they could receive if the judge were to attempt to incarcerate Trump, even for a brief period, “All the cash in the world,” one Trump political adviser says. This suggests that there may be a political angle to this legal strategy. Judge Engoron's response to Trump's provocations remains uncertain. While legal experts concede that an ordinary citizen might have faced jail time by now for such behavior, Trump's unique position as a prominent political figure and the 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner makes any decision regarding incarceration politically sensitive.


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Trump's behavior during his recent testimony in the civil fraud trial exemplified his approach, with a tendency to evade straightforward questions and engage in partisan rhetoric. He utilized the opportunity to defend himself using familiar language from his public statements, Twitter, and stump speeches, even attacking the judge during an afternoon break on his Truth Social platform. Despite numerous reprimands from the bench, Trump's legal team argued that his unique position warranted a different approach. 



The civil fraud trial centers on allegations that Trump and his organizations fraudulently inflated asset values to secure more favorable loans. During his testimony, Trump boasted about the value of his brand, echoing a strategy he employed when launching his political career, as per BBC News. He argued that his assets were worth much more than reported and that the banks he allegedly defrauded were fully reimbursed.



This trial is just one of four criminal trials Trump faces, each with potential jail time, setting the stage for a legal and political showdown as he continues to maintain his role as the Republican frontrunner and a former president. The outcome of these legal battles will significantly impact his political future and the landscape of American politics.

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