NEW YORK (AP) — A judge warned Donald Trump and others at his New York civil fraud trial to keep their voices down Wednesday after the former president threw up his hands in frustration and spoke aloud to his lawyers while a witness was testifying against him.
Judge Arthur Engoron made the admonition after Trump conferred animatedly with his lawyers at the defense table during real estate appraiser Doug Larson’s second day of testimony at the Manhattan trial.
State lawyer Kevin Wallace asked Engoron to ask the defense to “stop commenting during the witness’ testimony,” adding that the “exhortations” were audible on the witness’ side of the room. The judge then asked everyone to keep their voices down, “particularly if it’s meant to influence the testimony.”
The 2024 Republican frontrunner was in court for a second straight day Wednesday, watching the trial that threatens to upend his real estate empire and his wealthy businessman image. He attended the first three days, but skipped last week. On Tuesday, he left during an afternoon break to give a deposition in an unrelated lawsuit.
In a pretrial decision last month, Engoron ruled that Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, committed years of fraud by exaggerating his asset values and net worth on annual financial statements used to make deals and get better terms on loans and insurance.
As punishment, Engoron ordered that a court-appointed receiver take control of some Trump companies, putting the future oversight of Trump Tower and other marquee properties in question, but an appeals court has blocked that for now.