During his New York fraud trial on Wednesday, Donald Trump received a reprimand from the judge. The judge cautioned Trump and others involved to refrain from making comments while witnesses were testifying.
This happened after Trump, in frustration, threw up his hands and engaged in animated conversation with his lawyers while a witness testified against him on the stand.
On the second day of testimony at the Manhattan trial, Trump had an animated conversation with his lawyers while real-estate appraiser Doug Larson was on the stand.
State lawyer Kevin Wallace raised concerns to Judge Arthur Engoron, requesting that the defence be asked to “stop commenting during the witness’s testimony,” as the “exhortations” were audible to the witness.
Judge Engoron then advised all parties to keep their voices down, “particularly if it’s meant to influence the testimony.”
The Larson testimony
The trial threatens to disrupt Trump’s real estate empire and affluent image. Over the past few weeks, prosecutors have been constructing a case demonstrating that Trump and his family intentionally inflated property values.
However, Trump’s his defence contends that valuations were accurate, and any discrepancies were others’ fault.
Trump, as per The Guardian, grew agitated as estate appraiser Doug Larson testified.
His lawyer Lazaro Fields accused Larson of dishonesty and tried to establish that Larson had, at one point, undershot the projected 2015 value of a Trump-owned Wall Street office building by $114m.
However, Larson testified that the “values were not wrong—it’s what we knew at the time.”
It was during this exchange that Trump threw up his hands.
Larson testified that Trump Organisation’s former controller Jeffrey McConney hadn’t obtained his permission to cite him as an outside expert in the valuation spreadsheets used to make Trump’s financial statements. He also said he never consulted with the Trump’s company.
This led to Trump’s lawyer accusing Larson of lying, which then triggered a heated exchange between the opposing sides, including accusations of witness intimidation.