Unexpectedly, on Wednesday, the former president Trump spoke in his New York civil trial to defend himself and ended up being fined $10,000.
However, he did not do so against the fraud allegations he is facing, but rather to address the judge’s claim that he had broken a gag order.
The unexpected, albeit brief, testimony came after a break in the afternoon, when Michael Cohen, his former fixer, was the main attraction.
During subsequent cross-examination, Cohen appeared to contradict his own testimony regarding the inflating of Trump’s assets, which gave rise to an explosive turn in the hearing itself.
However, Trump’s statements from earlier in the day ended up taking center stage.
Following his statement to reporters about a “very partisan judge with a person who is very partisan sitting alongside him, perhaps even more partisan than he is,” Trump was questioned by Engoron after he took the stand.
Trump refuted the trial judge’s suggestion that the individual to whom he was referring was his principal law clerk, who is seated immediately to the judge’s right.
Speaking about the judge’s staff was prohibited for Trump and other parties involved in the case by the earlier-imposed gag order.
After giving a nod, Trump said, “Yes.”
“To whom did you intend to refer?” Engoron enquired.
Cohen and you, Trump retorted.
The cashier was mocked in a tweet on Trump’s Truth Social account, which included personally identifiable information about her, calling her the “girlfriend” of Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Trump was fined $10,000 by Engoron, who described the decision as being “on the liberal side.”
Clifford Robert, the lawyer for Trump’s sons, continued Cohen’s cross-examination on the stand after the sentence was imposed.