Patterico's Pontifications


Judge Engoron to Trump: Too Bad, So Sad!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:31 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Judge Arthur Engoron said no to Trump today because the former president did not agree to the preset conditions in his civil fraud trial that would have allowed him to speak during the defense closing arguments. In fact, Judge Engoron had previously told Trump concerning the conditions: “Take it or leave it. Now or never.” So here we are at never:

In a letter to attorneys for Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James just after noon Wednesday, Engoron said that Trump hasn’t agreed to conditions he set should the former president wish to give a statement.

“Not having heard from you by the third extended deadline (noon today), I assume that Mr. Trump will not agree to the reasonable, lawful limits I have imposed as a precondition to giving a closing statement above and beyond those given by his attorneys, and that, therefore, he will not be speaking in court tomorrow,” Engoron wrote.

Engoron offered Trump the opportunity to speak in his own defense closing argument but said the former president must agree to preset conditions that would limit what he can and cannot say. He would not be allowed to campaign, the judge said.

“Thus, in my sole discretion, I will consent to let Mr. Trump make a closing argument if, and only if, through counsel by 1/9/2024, and by himself, personally, on the record, just before he speaks, he agrees to limit his subjects to what is permissible in a counsel’s closing argument, that is, commentary on the relevant, material facts that are in evidence, and application of the relevant law to those facts,” Engoron wrote in an email last week.

However, Trump didn’t agree to the conditions, and in fact, his lawyer responded to Judge Engoron’s preset conditions by saying that [Trump] “cannot agree (nor would i recommend he do so) to the proposed preconditions and prior restraints.” The conditions:

“He may not seek to introduce new evidence. He may not ‘testify.’ He may not comment on irrelevant matters,” Engoron wrote. “In particular, and without limitation, he may not deliver a campaign speech, and he may not impugn myself, my staff, plaintiff, plaintiff’s staff, or the New York State Court System, none of which is relevant to this case, and all of which, except commenting on my staff, can be done, and is being done, in other forums.”

It amuses me to know how infuriated Trump must be as a result of not being told he cannot make a closing statement. After all, we all know any platform given to the Eternal Victim, even a courtroom, is simply another opportunity for him to play the victim, cry “witch hunt,” make false accusations, and perhaps even make veiled threats before a captive audience.


15 Responses to “Judge Engoron to Trump: Too Bad, So Sad!”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (932d71)

  2. I wasn’t even aware defendants could make a closing statement.

    I thought courts forbids it as SOP.

    That whole case is bizarre.

    whembly (5f7596)

  3. #2, I’ve never heard of it either. It would be a potential nightmare even with a “normal” client for him or her to be allowed to make a closing argument as they could easily, and unintentionally, cross the line into testimony and potentially become subject to cross-examination, so of course it’s never done. And with Trump who doesn’t recognize any rules anyway, there would be at the very least the risk that he would say something that would cause the judge to declare a mistrial (maybe that was Trump’s hope?). I’m surprised the judge even entertained the request.

    On a personal level, it would really offend me if I had a client who asked to make a closing argument as that would intrude on my function as their attorney. It would make me want to withdraw from the case, except of course at that stage an attorney would not be allowed to withdraw because the court would deem it prejudicial to the client.

    RL formerly in Glendale (7a2d64)

  4. I read that it is unusual for a request to make a statement at one’s trial:

    It’s unusual for a party to participate in closing argument to a court, but Judge Engoron was willing to extend that chance to Trump. Trump, however, refused to abide by the rules that apply to this type of argument. It’s not a freewheeling political rally speech, there are… rules that govern closing arguments in trials, and whether lawyer or party, they must be abided by. The time for testimony is past. Argument is about the evidence and the law & not an opportunity to impune the Judge or the NY AG. Play but the rules or you don’t play.

    It’s wholly unsurprising that Trump would make the request.

    Dana (932d71)

  5. Sounds like a set up: the Trump Team requested the opportunity to make a statement knowing that the judge would put limits on what he could say which they wouldn’t be willing to accept, so Trump gets to try to portray himself as someone who tried to cooperate with the trial but was prevented from doing so by a vindictive judge who is part of a conspiracy to suppress The Truth (as the defendant himself would style it on Twitter or TruthSocial or wherever he spews his nonsense these days).

    Of course that scenario assumes a level of competency on the Trump defense team that has yet to be seen, so maybe it was just their usual cluster-you-know-what.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  6. It’s a sad commentary on America that more people can’t see Trump for who he really is.

    norcal (667020)

  7. In caveman days, people could see each other for who they really were because they covered themselves with animal hides only in cold weather. That’s why when the chief came out and asked, “Who shall be Miss Summer Solstice this year? Jill Stein or Barabbas?”, the whole tribe shouted out with one voice “Barabbas! Barabbas!”.

    nk (8afd5c)

  8. #6

    It’s a worse commentary that people really do see it, and are either happy about it (the right people get what’s coming to them, after all), or think they must tolerate it for the greater good of escaping from the Biden reign of tyranny.

    Appalled (931956)

  9. Swatted:

    Someone made a bomb threat early Thursday at the Long Island home of the judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s Manhattan civil fraud trial, authorities said.

    The threat came just hours before Judge Arthur Engoron was expected to hear closing arguments in the fraud trial, where the former president’s real estate firm is accused of illegally inflating the value of Trump-owned properties — including Mar-a-Lago in Florida and his Wall Street skyscraper — by billions of dollars in paperwork submitted to banks and lenders.

    Nassau police were called to Engoron’s Great Neck home early Thursday morning in response to an email claiming that a bomb was on the property, said police sources with knowledge of the case. The bomb squad was called in to do a sweep, but no explosives were found, said the sources.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  10. Rip,

    I don’t think that falls under the definition of swatting. Criminal and evil, on the other hand…

    Appalled (931956)

  11. It’s a sad commentary on America that more people can’t see Trump for who he really is.

    norcal (667020) — 1/10/2024 @ 6:28 pm

    It’s more of a sad commentary on Republicans than Americans in general.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  12. I don’t think that falls under the definition of swatting. Criminal and evil, on the other hand…

    Appalled (931956) — 1/11/2024 @ 9:05 am


    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  13. No, it was not a swatting. Swatting involves sending a SWAT team with snipers and machine guns and high on adrenaline expecting to face an armed maniac holding hostages, and creating a danger that an innocent homeowner opening his front door to see what the police want will get shot because he was holding his phone or remote control or “reaching towards his waist”.

    nk (8afd5c)

  14. I have no feeling for this as it’s actually a political show trial for the NYC establishment. Just about all of it will be overturned on appeal.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

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