Trump Fumes as Judge Orders Him to Sit Like a Dog

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The first week of Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York City ended with a power move by the judge, who ordered the former president to take a seat—where he remained fuming in his chair until the judge left the courtroom.

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan was wrapping up a contentious hour of debate with lawyers on both sides Friday afternoon, when he clarified that a contempt hearing—where he might punish Trump for repeatedly ignoring a gag order and continuing to publicly speak threateningly about witnesses and jurors—would commence Tuesday morning.

But just as the judge neared the end of his sentence, Trump abruptly stood up—apparently thinking the day was over. Immediately, Merchan turned his face to the former president and said in a firm voice: “Sir, can you please have a seat.”

His long, black robes dangled from beneath his right hand as he waved it down, like a man addressing his dog. It wasn’t a question. And while the judge maintains a stoic demeanor at all times, the tone was decidedly sharper than even the one he’d taken when expressing disappointment in Trump’s lawyers minutes earlier.

Without hesitation, Trump went and plopped straight back down into his maroon leather chair at the defense table—and remained for another minute, fuming as the judge gathered his paperwork and strolled toward his chambers.

As the judge exited the courtroom, Trump shot up and made straight for the back, furious. He looked straight toward the wooden double doors in back, ignoring reporters in the pews and clicking his tongue as he approached the EXIT sign.

Shortly after the confrontation, Trump’s lawyers made yet another Hail Mary pass–as they’ve done in every civil trial he’s faced so far. They formally asked the state appellate court overseeing Manhattan, the First Judicial Department, to halt the trial. They cited what they called “prejudicial pretrial publicity”—never mind that much of that was due to the former president’s own relentless attacks on DA Alvin Bragg Jr., the judge, and jurors themselves, calling the entire trial “an assault on America.”

In the Friday evening appellate court filing, Trump’s lawyers complained about the jury selection that took all week, portraying the five-day challenge as a total failure.

“The fair and impartial jury cannot be selected in New York county as evidenced by the extreme difficulty in procuring a venire resulting from the significant bias against President Trump that permeates the jury pool,” they wrote.

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