Trump lawyers argue special counsel’s legal filings are too long: LIVE

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Donald Trump’s legal team is requesting special counsel Jack Smith keep it brief when submitting filings to a federal judge in the government’s 2020 election subversion and January 6 case.

In a two-page filing sent to Judge Tanya Chutkan on Saturday, Mr Trump’s defence team asked that the judge prohibit Mr Smith’s prosecution team from exceeding the 45-page limit in an “oversized” filing that responds to Mr Trump’s attempt to have the case thrown out.

Meanwhile, a federal appeals court has temporarily lifted a gag order placed on Mr Trump in the case.

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued the ruling on Friday, putting a hold on the limited gag order to allow judges more time to review Mr Trump’s request for a longer pause on the restrictions on his speech during his appeals.

The court said that the pause “should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits” of Mr Trump’s request.

Key Points

  • Fraud trial judge expands gag order to include Trump attorneys

  • Ivanka Trump loses appeal to delay testimony in New York civil fraud trial

  • ‘So sad to see my sons being persecuted’, says Trump

  • Furious fraud trial judge assails Trump attorneys after Donald Jr and Eric testimony

  • Why are Trump’s children testifying at New York civil fraud trial?

  • At heart of Colorado and Minnesota 2024 ballot trials — what is an insurrection?

Where do all of Trump’s criminal charges and lawsuits currently stand?

06:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The former president faces criminal charges from DC to Palm Beach and Manhattan to Atlanta. The Independent’s Josh Marcus runs down where each one currently stands.

Tracking Trump’s criminal charges and lawsuits - and where they stand

What does Melania Trump think of fraud case against her husband?

05:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Melania Trump hasn’t spoken publicly about the case, but the former president has told reporters at the courthouse what he thinks she feels about the trial...

Trump reveals how Melania feels about his civil fraud trial

04:00 , Oliver O'Connell

2024 ballot trials ask: What even is an insurrection?

During oral arguments before the Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday, the justices returned to a question at the centre of an effort to remove Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot: What is an insurrection?

But for the justices weighing whether to apply Section 3 – dubbed the “insurrection clause” – of the 14th Amendment to Mr Trump’s election eligibility, it requires pinpointing who gets to define an insurrection and when one occurs.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment contains a Civil War-era provision that disqualifies a person from holding office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after taking the oath of office. However, it does not define insurrection or what it means to engage in one.

Ariana Baio reports.

Effort to remove Trump from ballot raises question: What is an insurrection?

Voices: Trump’s children learnt their father’s best tricks - and it could be his downfall

02:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Elise Seyfried writes:

I used to resent one of my co-workers who habitually came in late, left early, even helped themselves to other people’s work. There seemed to be no consequences for them, ever. “They’re getting away with murder!” I would sputter in frustration. I understood this to be just a figure of speech; I never really believed things could escalate to actual mayhem.

I thought of this colleague when, in 2016, Donald Trump boasted on tape that he could shoot someone on Fifth Ave and not lose voters. “Figure of speech!” I thought at the time. But then came the next seven years, and the endless cascade of lies and double-dealing from the 45th President. And yet Trump seemed to be correct in his belief that accountability was for suckers.

Until perhaps, at long last, now.

Read the full article...

Why are Trump’s children testifying at New York civil fraud trial?

00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The main focus on Donald Trump’s myriad of legal woes shifted to Lower Manhattan in October as his civil fraud case came to trial at New York state’s Supreme Court.

New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the case against the Trump Organization and maintains that between 2011 and 2021 the company falsified financial statements regarding the development of several real estate projects and artificially inflated Mr Trump’s net worth in order to get better financing terms from banks and insurance companies.

This was done by over-stating valuations of the former president’s most prestigious holdings including his triplex penthouse at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan and his current home at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Their entire New York real estate empire is already in peril after a pre-trial ruling included the cancellation of their business licences in the state.

As the prosecution’s case draws to a close, three of his adult children are taking the stand to testify under oath, which begs the question: how are they wrapped up in all this and why is their testimony important at the trial?

Why are Trump’s children testifying at New York civil fraud trial?

Chris Christie responds to crowd boos at Florida Republican event

Sunday 5 November 2023 23:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Chris Christie waged a battle with a Trump-loving audience at the Florida Freedom Summit, slamming the crowd for being afraid of the truth and detached from reality.

The former New Jersey governor was greeted with boos at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee outside Orlando on Saturday.

Mr Christie, who’s waging what’s seen by many as a doomed campaign to take down Mr Trump, faced the audience’s wrath immediately after entering the stage, with the booing continuing throughout his 15-minute speech, according to CBS News.

“Your anger against the truth is reprehensible,” he told the crowd. “The problem is you want to shout down any voice that says anything different than what you want to hear.”

“You can go and boo about it as much as you like, but it doesn’t change the truth and the truth is coming,” he added.

“What a shock, you’re for Trump. I’m going to fall over dead. The problem is you fear the truth,” Mr Christie said.

“I assume that you’re yelling for $33 trillion in debt,” he told the audience. “It must be one of the things you’re for. You’re probably for it. Because you won’t be here to pay for it. But our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be here to pay for it.”

READ MORE

DC election trial: Trump asks appeals court to let him attack witnesses in Jan 6 case

Sunday 5 November 2023 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys for former president Donald Trump have asked the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn a district court order barring him from attacking or disparaging witnesses and other figures connected to the election subversion and conspiracy case pending against him in Washington.

In court papers filed late Thursday with the appellate court, Mr Trump’s legal team argues that the gag order imposed by Judge Tanya Chutkan on 16 October was inappropriate and an infringement on his right to free speech because he is “the leading candidate for President of the United States”.

At the time she entered the order, Judge Chutkan acknowledged Mr Trump’s status as a candidate and said her order would not bar him from “criticising the government generally ... or the Justice Department” or statements characterising his prosecution as “politically motivated”.

But she said she would prohibit anyone involved in the case from “targeting” court personnel, prosecutors, or their families.

She also prohibited statements about witnesses or potential witnesses, or about their testimony and noted that the ex-president’s past conduct and the tendency of those targeted by him to receive threats and harassment figured prominently in her decision to impose the order.

Read more...

ICYMI: Ivanka Trump loses appeal to delay New York civil fraud trial testimony

Sunday 5 November 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump lost an appeal to postpone her testimony in her father’s $250m civil fraud lawsuit.

An interim appeals court swiftly denied her motion to seek a temporary stay on Thursday night for testimony on 8 November after her attorney said she would encounter “undue hardship” as it was scheduled “in the middle of a school week”.

“Ms Trump, who resides in Florida with her three minor children, will suffer undue hardship if a stay is denied and she is required to testify at trial in New York in the middle of a school week, in a case she has already been dismissed from, before her appeal is heard,” her attorney said in an appeal filed Thursday.

Ivanka Trump loses appeal to delay testifying in New York $250m civil fraud trial

Trump to take the stand Monday in civil fraud trial

Sunday 5 November 2023 18:38 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump is set to take the stand in his $250m civil fraud trial in New York on Monday.

The former president’s testimony is expected to also conclude on Monday, but it may continue on Wednesday following the court’s election day closure on Tuesday, CNN notes.

The trial may determine the future of Mr Trump’s business empire in New York – state Attorney General Letitia James is seeking damages and to bar the ex-president from doing business in the state.

His daughter Ivanka Trump is set to testify on Wednesday.

Trump’s legal team complains special counsel Jack Smith’s filings are too long

Sunday 5 November 2023 18:00 , Ariana Baio

Donald Trump’s legal team is requesting special counsel Jack Smith keep it brief when submitting filings to a federal judge in the government’s 2020 election subversion and January 6 case.

In a two-page filing sent to Judge Tanya Chutkan on Saturday, Mr Trump’s defence team asked that the judge prohibit Mr Smith’s prosecution team from exceeding the 45-page limit in an “oversized” filing that responds to Mr Trump’s attempt to have the case thrown out.

At the end of October, Mr Trump filed four motions to dismiss the federal case against him on statutory and constitutional grounds.

Mr Smith first asked Judge Chutkan to allow the prosecution to exceed the 45-page limit before they submit their response to Mr Trump’s motions.

But the ex-president’s team says it is unnecessary and believes Mr Smith should file four separate responses to the motions to dismiss in order to “avoid confusion over the application of any arguments to the parties’ respective briefing.”

READ MORE

Trump slams DeSantis with latest insult: ‘Wounded falling bird from the skies’

Sunday 5 November 2023 17:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump went after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in their shared home state with a new insult, calling him “a wounded falling bird from the skies”.

Both Mr Trump and Mr DeSantis attended the Florida Freedom Summit at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee outside Orlando on Saturday. They were joined by some of their fellow 2024 presidential candidates – former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and biotech entrepreneur turned anti-woke campaigner Vivek Ramaswamy.

The candidate increasingly seen as the only non-Trump alternative able to possibly take on the former president, former South Carolina Governor and Trump UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, didn’t attend.

After each of them filed to be on the ballot in the 2024 Florida primary, the candidates addressed the gathered audience of GOP adherents.

Mr Trump, who is expected to win the Republican nomination even amid his deepening legal woes, predictably garnered the most attention at the event.

“My people said, ‘Sir, don’t hit him,’” Mr Trump said regarding the Florida Governor and his former ally turned adversary. “‘He’s a Republican.’ I said, ‘I don’t care if he’s a Republican.’ And we hit him hard and now he’s like a wounded falling bird from the skies.”

READ MORE

Trump is already accusing his 2024 rivals of cheating

Sunday 5 November 2023 16:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Although more than three months remain before the 2024 Iowa caucus kicks into gear, former President Donald Trump has already begun accusing his political rivals of cheating.

In a video posted on the Republican frontrunner’s Instagram page on Tuesday evening, Mr Trump said, “You know the other side does cheat, and we’re not gonna let that happen.”

He encouraged Iowa caucus-goers to “do whatever is necessary” on 15 January to “make America great again.”

“If you do, we will win. We will win big and that’s what you have to do,” the former president added.

Mr Trump is no stranger to bogus election fraud claims.

Trump is already accusing his 2024 rivals of cheating

Why were Trump’s attorneys called out for misogyny?

Sunday 5 November 2023 14:30 , Oliver O'Connell

After hours of testimony from Donald Trump’s adult sons that the office of New York Attorney General called “extremely” favourable in its case against his business empire, attorneys for the former president raged at the judge overseeing the case, throwing a last-minute grenade into Thursday’s trial.

Judge Arthur Engoron snapped at Trump attorney Christopher Kise, who mentioned the judge’s chief clerk, the subject of disparaging comments from Mr Trump that prompted a gag order he subsequently violated twice.

“Do not refer to my staff again,” the judge said. “If there’s any further reference to anyone on my staff … I will include a standing gag order to include [attorneys].”

Judge Engoron suggested that there’s a “bit of misogyny” that fuels the comments against his female clerk, which Mr Trump’s attorneys flatly denied.

Trump team called out for ‘misogyny’ after Donald Jr and Eric testify in fraud trial

Fraud trial judge expands gag order to include Trump attorneys

Sunday 5 November 2023 13:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The New York judge overseeing a case that could collapse Donald Trump’s business empire has expanded a gag order to include the former president’s attorneys after their in-court comments about his chief clerk.

An order from Judge Arthur Engoron on 3 November arrived one day after he assailed Mr Trump’s attorneys for openly criticising the judge’s principal law clerk for advising him throughout the trial.

The judge imposed a gag order earlier this month that blocks any parties from making comments about the court’s staff after the former president made a series of false and disparaging remarks about her outside the courtroom and on his Truth Social account.

Mr Trump already has violated the order twice, incurring $15,000 in fines.

After hours of testimony from Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump this week, which lawyers for the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James said were “extremely” favourable in their case targeting the Trump Organization, lead attorney Christopher Kise launched into a tirade on Friday about the clerk’s perceived “bias”, allegations outlined in a right-wing news website, and what he feels like are “two adversaries” on the bench.

Judge expands gag order to include Trump attorneys

Giuliani should be worried, says Jenna Ellis lawyer

Sunday 5 November 2023 10:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Lawyers for Jenna Ellis, the former lawyer for Donald Trump and co-defendant in the Fulton County election subversion indictment, said in an interview that Rudy Giuliani “should be worried” about the case.

Ms Ellis’s attorneys — Frank Hogue and his wife and co-counsel Laura Hogue — spoke to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about their client’s recent plea deal. She is the fourth of 19 defendants to accept an offer from prosecutors.

The case was brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and of the four criminal indictments with former president Trump at the centre, it is the most sprawling, encapsulating multiple plots to overturn the 2020 election result in Georgia.

Ms Ellis pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting false statements and writings, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, however, she was sentenced under the First Offender Act to five years probation.

This could come to an end after three years of good behaviour and she would not have a criminal record.

Crucially for prosecutors, Ms Ellis agreed to cooperate with the case going forward. This potentially makes her a star witness against fellow defendants including the former president and Mr Giuliani.

Read more...

2024 ballot trials ask: What even is an insurrection?

Sunday 5 November 2023 07:00 , Oliver O'Connell

During oral arguments before the Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday, the justices returned to a question at the centre of an effort to remove Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot: What is an insurrection?

But for the justices weighing whether to apply Section 3 – dubbed the “insurrection clause” – of the 14th Amendment to Mr Trump’s election eligibility, it requires pinpointing who gets to define an insurrection and when one occurs.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment contains a Civil War-era provision that disqualifies a person from holding office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after taking the oath of office. However, it does not define insurrection or what it means to engage in one.

Ariana Baio reports.

Effort to remove Trump from ballot raises question: What is an insurrection?

DC election trial: Trump asks appeals court to let him attack witnesses in Jan 6 case

Sunday 5 November 2023 03:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys for former president Donald Trump have asked the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn a district court order barring him from attacking or disparaging witnesses and other figures connected to the election subversion and conspiracy case pending against him in Washington.

In court papers filed late Thursday with the appellate court, Mr Trump’s legal team argues that the gag order imposed by Judge Tanya Chutkan on 16 October was inappropriate and an infringement on his right to free speech because he is “the leading candidate for President of the United States”.

At the time she entered the order, Judge Chutkan acknowledged Mr Trump’s status as a candidate and said her order would not bar him from “criticising the government generally ... or the Justice Department” or statements characterising his prosecution as “politically motivated”.

But she said she would prohibit anyone involved in the case from “targeting” court personnel, prosecutors, or their families.

She also prohibited statements about witnesses or potential witnesses, or about their testimony and noted that the ex-president’s past conduct and the tendency of those targeted by him to receive threats and harassment figured prominently in her decision to impose the order.

Trump asks DC appeals court to let him attack witnesses in Jan 6 case

‘Make me look sexy,’ Don Jr asks courtroom sketch artist

Sunday 5 November 2023 01:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump Jr was called to testify in a New York fraud trial this week, and took an unusual step to protect his image; he reportedly asked a courtroom sketch artist to “make me look sexy.”

The request allegedly came during a rest period in the case on Thursday. He had been testifying for several hours about his involvement in questionable financial statements made by the Trump Organization that a judge already deemed fraudulent.

Once his testimony was finished, the court took a break, and Mr Trump Jr rushed over to a sketch artist, Jane Rosenberg, who was there on assignment for Reuters.

Graig Graziosi has the story.

Trump Jr asked courtroom sketch artist to make him ‘look sexy’

Trump’s plan? Embarrass DeSantis by flipping his endorsements

Saturday 4 November 2023 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump and his allies are attempting to win over influential Florida Republicans who previously endorsed Governor Ron DeSantis.

Two people told NBC News that as many as six GOP lawmakers from the Sunshine State could flip from Mr DeSantis to the former president as soon as next week.

The scheme is planned to come to fruition amid the Florida Freedom Summit set to take place on Saturday, which will be attended by all the major GOP presidential candidates.

The goal is for Florida lawmakers on the state level to come out for Mr Trump next week – the third GOP primary debate is set to take place on Wednesday in Miami but Mr Trump has indicated that he will not take part.

“It’s coming,” one person told NBC. “Exact number not yet said, but it will be close to 10.”

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Trump plots to embarrass DeSantis by flipping his endorsements

Why are Trump’s children testifying at New York civil fraud trial?

Saturday 4 November 2023 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The main focus on Donald Trump’s myriad of legal woes shifted to Lower Manhattan in October as his civil fraud case came to trial at New York state’s Supreme Court.

New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the case against the Trump Organization and maintains that between 2011 and 2021 the company falsified financial statements regarding the development of several real estate projects and artificially inflated Mr Trump’s net worth in order to get better financing terms from banks and insurance companies.

This was done by over-stating valuations of the former president’s most prestigious holdings including his triplex penthouse at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan and his current home at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Their entire New York real estate empire is already in peril after a pre-trial ruling included the cancellation of their business licences in the state.

As the prosecution’s case draws to a close, three of his adult children are taking the stand to testify under oath, which begs the question: how are they wrapped up in all this and why is their testimony important at the trial?

Why are Trump’s children testifying at New York civil fraud trial?

Full story: Fraud trial judge expands gag order to include Trump attorneys

Saturday 4 November 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The New York judge overseeing a case that could collapse Donald Trump’s business empire has expanded a gag order to include the former president’s attorneys after their in-court comments about his chief clerk.

An order from Judge Arthur Engoron on 3 November arrived one day after he assailed Mr Trump’s attorneys for openly criticising the judge’s principal law clerk for advising him throughout the trial.

The judge imposed a gag order earlier this month that blocks any parties from making comments about the court’s staff after the former president made a series of false and disparaging remarks about her outside the courtroom and on his Truth Social account.

Mr Trump already has violated the order twice, incurring $15,000 in fines.

After hours of testimony from Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump this week, which lawyers for the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James said were “extremely” favourable in their case targeting the Trump Organization, lead attorney Christopher Kise launched into a tirade on Friday about the clerk’s perceived “bias”, allegations outlined in a right-wing news website, and what he feels like are “two adversaries” on the bench.

Judge expands gag order to include Trump attorneys

When was Trump last in court?

Saturday 4 November 2023 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

With Donald Trump set to testify in his fraud trial on Monday, you’re probably wondering when he was last in court at his own trial (he’s not obligated to attend as it’s a civil case).

As we’ve seen this week, he certainly wasn’t there to support his two eldest sons as they took the stand — even after Eric dutifully attended behind him each day he sat at the defence table.

Perhaps he’ll stick around for Ivanka’s testimony on Wednesday?

Here’s our coverage of the last time he was in court and how it ended with him storming out — perhaps an indication we should all buckle up on Monday...

Trump called to witness stand and fined $10k for violating gag order in fraud trial

Ex-Trump White House chief Meadows sued by publisher over bogus election claims

Saturday 4 November 2023 16:51 , Gustaf Kilander

The publisher of a book written by Mark Meadows has sued the former Trump White House chief of staff, claiming that he violated the terms of an agreement when he included false statements about former President Donald Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen.

All Seasons Press filed the lawsuit in Sarasota County in Florida on Friday, arguing that Mr Meadows “promised and represented that ‘all statements contained in the Work are true and based on reasonable research for accuracy’ and that he ‘has not made any misrepresentations to the Publisher about the Work’”.

The publisher added that Mr Meadows, a former Tea Party and North Carolina congressman, caused All Seasons Press “to suffer significant monetary and reputational damage when the media widely reported … that he warned President Trump against claiming that election fraud corrupted the electoral votes cast in the 2020 Presidential Election and that neither he nor former President Trump actually believed such claims”.

The lawsuit follows reporting by ABC News that Mr Meadows received immunity to testify before a grand jury in the investigation headed by Special Counsel Jack Smith, during which the ex-chief is reported to have gone against the version of events in his own book.

The book – The Chief’s Chief – was published in 2021.

READ MORE

Special counsel doesn’t want Trump trial to turn into a TV spectacle

Saturday 4 November 2023 15:35 , Ariana Baio

Federal prosecutors have asked a judge in Washington DC to prohibit media organisations from televising the criminal trial proceedings in the government’s case against Donald Trump regarding his alleged involvement in efforts to overturn the 2020 election and January 6.

In a filing sent to US District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday, special counsel Jack Smith cited a longstanding judicial rule that bars the broadcasting of federal criminal trials and said the rule should be no different for the ex-president.

Under Rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a court “must not permit the taking of photographs in the courtroom during judicial proceedings or the broadcasting of judicial proceedings from the courtroom.”

Mr Smith said that the rule is in place purely “to avoid the risks that policymakers have determined cameras pose to the fair administration of justice” and that it should remain for Mr Trump to be fairly prosecuted.

But several media organisations, including The New York Times, The Associated Press, NBC Universal and more, have said the unprecedented case against the ex-president is clearly in the public interest and would benefit from being broadcast.

READ MORE

Voices: Trump’s children learnt their father’s best tricks - and it could be his downfall

Saturday 4 November 2023 15:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Elise Seyfried writes:

I used to resent one of my co-workers who habitually came in late, left early, even helped themselves to other people’s work. There seemed to be no consequences for them, ever. “They’re getting away with murder!” I would sputter in frustration. I understood this to be just a figure of speech; I never really believed things could escalate to actual mayhem.

I thought of this colleague when, in 2016, Donald Trump boasted on tape that he could shoot someone on Fifth Ave and not lose voters. “Figure of speech!” I thought at the time. But then came the next seven years, and the endless cascade of lies and double-dealing from the 45th President. And yet Trump seemed to be correct in his belief that accountability was for suckers.

Until perhaps, at long last, now.

Read the full article...

GOP Rep Ken Buck plots scorched-earth exit from Congress

Saturday 4 November 2023 13:55 , Stephen Groves, Farnoush Amiri

Rep. Ken Buck has had enough.

When the Colorado Republican announced this past week that he would not seek reelection, he began with the type of criticism of Democratic policies that is standard fare for a hard-line conservative. But then Buck turned his ire to fellow Republicans, spending most of the three-minute announcement video accusing them of being “obsessively fixated on retribution and vengeance for contrived injustices of the past.”

Buck’s scorched-earth approach caught few on Capitol Hill by surprise.

With a deadpan demeanor, an independent streak and a background as a federal prosecutor, Buck has gained national prominence as a House Republican fed up with Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 presidential election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden and the Trump allies in Congress who amplify them. It’s a stand few others in the GOP are taking and is a remarkable turn that shows just how deeply Trump’s once-fringe lies about that race have settled into the Republican mainstream.

Buck regularly appears on networks such as CNN and, with no plans to leave Congress before the end of his term, he probably will be a prominent foil to Republicans during his final months in office. His political heresy extends to the impeachment inquiry into Biden, which Buck has dismissed as baseless.

“Our nation is on a collision course with reality, and a steadfast commitment to truth — even uncomfortable truths — is the only way forward,” Buck said in the video.

READ MORE

ICYMI: Ivanka Trump loses appeal to delay New York civil fraud trial testimony

Saturday 4 November 2023 13:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump lost an appeal to postpone her testimony in her father’s $250m civil fraud lawsuit.

An interim appeals court swiftly denied her motion to seek temporary stay on Thursday night for a testimony on 8 November after her attorney said she would encounter “undue hardship” as it was scheduled “in the middle of a school week”.

“Ms Trump, who resides in Florida with her three minor children, will suffer undue hardship if a stay is denied and she is required to testify at trial in New York in the middle of a school week, in a case she has already been dismissed from, before her appeal is heard,” her attorney said in an appeal filed Thursday.

Read more...

Appeals courts temporarily lifts Trump’s gag in election fraud case

Saturday 4 November 2023 12:51 , AP

A federal appeals court temporarily lifted a gag order on Donald Trump in his 2020 election interference case in Washington on Friday — the latest twist in the legal fight over the restrictions on the former president’s speech.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decision puts a hold on the limited gag order to give the judges time to consider Trump’s request for a longer pause on the restrictions while his appeals play out. The appeals court said the temporary pause “should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits” of Trump’s bid.

The court set oral arguments for Nov. 20 before a panel of three judges — all appointees of Democratic presidents.

An attorney for Trump declined to comment on Friday.

The gag order, imposed by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, bars Trump from making public statements targeting prosecutors, court staff and potential witnesses in the case accusing him of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election he lost to President Joe Biden. It still allows the former president to assert his innocence and his claims that the case against him is politically motivated.

Chutkan, who was appointed to the bench by former President Barack Obama reimposed the gag order on Sunday, after prosecutors pointed to Trump’s recent social media comments about his former chief of staff Mark Meadows.

It’s the most serious restriction a court has put on the speech of the GOP presidential primary frontrunner and criminal defendant in four separate cases. Gag orders are not unheard of in high-profile cases, but courts have never had to wrestle before with whether they can curtail the speech of a presidential candidate.

READ MORE

George Santos sinks lower with vile attack on GOP lawmaker’s son

Saturday 4 November 2023 11:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Serial liar George Santos unleashed a vile attack on the son of a fellow Republican lawmaker, calling him a “felon” and a “drug dealer” who has been “poisoning people on the streets with meth”.

The revolting diatribe came about after the GOP Rep Steve Womack revealed his disappointment that Mr Santos had survived a vote to expel him from Congress on Wednesday.

“Last night, the House saw its shadow. Unfortunately, this means there will be two more weeks of Santos,” Mr Womack quipped on X, formerly Twitter.

In response, the embattled New York congressman chose to launch a venomous and highly personal attack on Mr Womack’s son James Womack.

Rachel Sharp reports on what he said.

George Santos unleashes vile attack on GOP lawmaker’s son

‘Vaping groping’ Lauren Boebert slammed by Marjorie Taylor Greene

Saturday 4 November 2023 09:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Marjorie Taylor Greene has lashed out at “vaping groping” Lauren Boebert in the latest spat between the friends turned sworn foes.

The Georgia congresswoman had gone on the attack against fellow Republican Rep Chip Roy after he voted against her resolution to censure Muslim lawmaker Rashida Tlaib over her stance on the Israel-Hamas war.

Mr Roy was one of 23 Republicans who joined 199 Democrats in rejecting Ms Greene’s measure and defended the move in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“Rep. Rashida Tlaib has repeatedly made outrageous remarks toward Israel and the Jewish people. Her conduct is unbecoming of a member of Congress and certainly worthy of condemnation - if not censure,” Mr Roy wrote on X.

The post clearly rattled Ms Greene who fired off an angry reply – while managing to take aim at her fellow MAGA fan but sworn rival Ms Boebert in the process.

Read more...

Watch: Eric Trump claims world ‘laughing about what’s going on'

Saturday 4 November 2023 06:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Jimmy Kimmel rips Donald Trump Jr over testimony

Saturday 4 November 2023 03:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Jimmy Kimmel served Donald Trump Jr a brutal mockery after he took to the witness stand on Wednesday in a $250 million fraud lawsuit against the Trump family business brought by the New York attorney general.

The former president’s son testified over fraudulent documents concerning the financial status of the real estate company, the Trump Organization.

Mr Trump Jr, who denies any involvement alongside his brother Eric Trump, made a witty remark about regretting not wearing make-up as photographers lined the courtroom.

One person who certainly did not find Mr Trump Jr’s jokes funny was talk show host Mr Kimmel.

Amelia Neath has the story.

Jimmy Kimmel tears down Trump Jr after fraud trial

Why are Trump’s children testifying at New York civil fraud trial?

Saturday 4 November 2023 01:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The main focus on Donald Trump’s myriad of legal woes shifted to Lower Manhattan in October as his civil fraud case came to trial at New York state’s Supreme Court.

New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the case against the Trump Organization and maintains that between 2011 and 2021 the company falsified financial statements regarding the development of several real estate projects and artificially inflated Mr Trump’s net worth in order to get better financing terms from banks and insurance companies.

This was done by over-stating valuations of the former president’s most prestigious holdings including his triplex penthouse at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan and his current home at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Their entire New York real estate empire is already in peril after a pre-trial ruling included the cancellation of their business licences in the state.

As the prosecution’s case draws to a close, three of his adult children are taking the stand to testify under oath, which begs the question: how are they wrapped up in all this and why is their testimony important at the trial?

Why are Trump’s children testifying at New York civil fraud trial?

Saturday 4 November 2023 00:40 , Alex Woodward

In an order issued on Friday afternoon, the judge said Mr Trump’s attorneys have made “on the record, repeated, inappropriate remarks” about Ms Greenfield, “falsely accusing her of bias against them and improperly influencing the ongoing bench trial.”

“These arguments have no basis,” the judge wrote.

The heated exchanges came moments before Eric Trump’s final round of questioning on the witness stand.

His father and co-defendant in the case is next. Mr Trump will testify on Monday.

Ivanka Trump, who successfully removed herself as a co-defendant in the attorney general’s $250m lawsuit earlier this year, will testify on Wednesday. She lost her appeals to block or delay her testimony.

The lawsuit alleges that the former president, his adult sons and their chief associates defrauded financial institutions for years by inflating his net worth and assets to fraudulently obtain favourable business deals.

In September, Judge Engoron issued a summary judgment finding the defendants liable for fraud. The trial, which could last through the weekend before Christmas, is considering the attorney general’s attempts to recover tens of millions of dollars from the Trumps’ allegedly ill-gotten gains.

Judge expands gag order to include Trump attorneys

Saturday 4 November 2023 00:20 , Alex Woodward

Mr Kise drew audible groans and laughter from the courtroom when he pointed to allegations about the clerk that appeared in Breitbart, a website formerly operated by Mr Trump’s former aide Steve Bannon.

“I’ll let everyone in the room decide what they think about Breitbart,the judge said.

The article in Breitbart is solely sourced from the man who claims to be behind a social media account (which describes itself as “like a clandestine intelligence organization”) filled with false and inflammatory statements surrounding the case. False attacks from the account that targeted Judge Engoron’s clerk Allison Greenfield were shared by Mr Trump, which prompted the judge’s gag order.

That man, Brock Fredin, also launched a website using Ms Greenfield’s name one day after that gag order was imposed.

“I think the defense will have to make serious consideration to seeking a mistrial” if those allegations are substantiated, Mr Kise told the judge on Friday.

Kevin Wallace with the office of attorney general criticised the Trump attorneys’ “sideshow” that he said is “designed to interrupt our ability to put an end to this.”

“If there’s something improper between a judge and a clerk passing notes, you should make your motion now,” he added.

Continued...

Full story: Fraud trial judge expands gag order to include Trump attorneys

Saturday 4 November 2023 00:00 , Alex Woodward

The New York judge overseeing a case that could collapse Donald Trump’s business empire has expanded a gag order to include the former president’s attorneys after their in-court comments about his chief clerk.

An order from Judge Arthur Engoron on 3 November arrived one day after he assailed Mr Trump’s attorneys for openly criticising the judge’s principal law clerk for advising him throughout the trial.

The judge imposed a gag order earlier this month that blocks any parties from making comments about the court’s staff after the former president made a series of false and disparaging remarks about her outside the courtroom and on his Truth Social account.

Mr Trump already has violated the order twice, incurring $15,000 in fines.

After hours of testimony from Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump this week, which lawyers for the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James said were “extremely” favourable in their case targeting the Trump Organization, lead attorney Christopher Kise launched into a tirade on Friday about the clerk’s perceived “bias”, allegations outlined in a right-wing news website, and what he feels like are “two adversaries” on the bench.

Continued...

Giuliani should be worried, says Jenna Ellis lawyer

Friday 3 November 2023 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Lawyers for Jenna Ellis, the former lawyer for Donald Trump and co-defendant in the Fulton County election subversion indictment, said in an interview that Rudy Giuliani “should be worried” about the case.

Ms Ellis’s attorneys — Frank Hogue and his wife and co-counsel Laura Hogue — spoke to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about their client’s recent plea deal. She is the fourth of 19 defendants to accept an offer from prosecutors.

The case was brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and of the four criminal indictments with former president Trump at the centre, it is the most sprawling, encapsulating multiple plots to overturn the 2020 election result in Georgia.

Ms Ellis pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting false statements and writings, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, however, she was sentenced under the First Offender Act to five years probation.

This could come to an end after three years of good behaviour and she would not have a criminal record.

Crucially for prosecutors, Ms Ellis agreed to cooperate with the case going forward. This potentially makes her a star witness against fellow defendants including the former president and Mr Giuliani.

Read more...

2024 ballot trials ask: What even is an insurrection?

Friday 3 November 2023 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

During oral arguments before the Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday, the justices returned to a question at the centre of an effort to remove Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot: What is an insurrection?

But for the justices weighing whether to apply Section 3 – dubbed the “insurrection clause” – of the 14th Amendment to Mr Trump’s election eligibility, it requires pinpointing who gets to define an insurrection and when one occurs.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment contains a Civil War-era provision that disqualifies a person from holding office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after taking the oath of office. However, it does not define insurrection or what it means to engage in one.

Ariana Baio reports.

Effort to remove Trump from ballot raises question: What is an insurrection?

DC election trial: Trump asks appeals court to let him attack witnesses in Jan 6 case

Friday 3 November 2023 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys for former president Donald Trump have asked the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn a district court order barring him from attacking or disparaging witnesses and other figures connected to the election subversion and conspiracy case pending against him in Washington.

In court papers filed late Thursday with the appellate court, Mr Trump’s legal team argues that the gag order imposed by Judge Tanya Chutkan on 16 October was inappropriate and an infringement on his right to free speech because he is “the leading candidate for President of the United States”.

At the time she entered the order, Judge Chutkan acknowledged Mr Trump’s status as a candidate and said her order would not bar him from “criticising the government generally ... or the Justice Department” or statements characterising his prosecution as “politically motivated”.

But she said she would prohibit anyone involved in the case from “targeting” court personnel, prosecutors, or their families.

She also prohibited statements about witnesses or potential witnesses, or about their testimony and noted that the ex-president’s past conduct and the tendency of those targeted by him to receive threats and harassment figured prominently in her decision to impose the order.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Full story: Fraud trial judge expands gag order to include Trump attorneys

Friday 3 November 2023 20:40 , Oliver O'Connell

The New York judge overseeing a case that could collapse Donald Trump’s business empire has expanded a gag order to include the former president’s attorneys after their in-court comments about his chief clerk.

An order from Judge Arthur Engoron on 3 November arrived one day after he assailed Mr Trump’s attorneys for openly criticising the judge’s principal law clerk for advising him throughout the trial.

The judge imposed a gag order earlier this month that blocks any parties from making comments about the court’s staff after the former president made a series of false and disparaging remarks about her outside the courtroom and on his Truth Social account.

Mr Trump already has violated the order twice, incurring $15,000 in fines.

After hours of testimony from Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump this week, which lawyers for the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James said were “extremely” favourable in their case targeting the Trump Organization, lead attorney Christopher Kise launched into a tirade on Friday about the clerk’s perceived “bias”, allegations outlined in a right-wing news website, and what he feels like are “two adversaries” on the bench.

Alex Woodward has been watching the trial unfold in court for The Independent, read the rest of his report here:

Fraud trial judge expands gag order to include Trump attorneys

‘Make me look sexy,’ Don Jr asks courtroom sketch artist

Friday 3 November 2023 20:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump Jr was called to testify in a New York fraud trial this week, and took an unusual step to protect his image; he reportedly asked a courtroom sketch artist to “make me look sexy.”

The request allegedly came during a rest period in the case on Thursday. He had been testifying for several hours about his involvement in questionable financial statements made by the Trump Organization that a judge already deemed fraudulent.

Once his testimony was finished, the court took a break, and Mr Trump Jr rushed over to a sketch artist, Jane Rosenberg, who was there on assignment for Reuters.

Graig Graziosi has the story.

Donald Trump Jr asked courtroom sketch artist to ‘make me look sexy’

Trump’s plan? Embarrass DeSantis by flipping his endorsements

Friday 3 November 2023 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump and his allies are attempting to win over influential Florida Republicans who previously endorsed Governor Ron DeSantis.

Two people told NBC News that as many as six GOP lawmakers from the Sunshine State could flip from Mr DeSantis to the former president as soon as next week.

The scheme is planned to come to fruition amid the Florida Freedom Summit set to take place on Saturday, which will be attended by all the major GOP presidential candidates.

The goal is for Florida lawmakers on the state level to come out for Mr Trump next week – the third GOP primary debate is set to take place on Wednesday in Miami but Mr Trump has indicated that he will not take part.

“It’s coming,” one person told NBC. “Exact number not yet said, but it will be close to 10.”

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Trump plots to embarrass DeSantis by flipping his endorsements

When was Trump last in court?

Friday 3 November 2023 19:40 , Oliver O'Connell

With Donald Trump set to testify in his fraud trial on Monday, you’re probably wondering when he was last in court at his own trial (he’s not obligated to attend as it’s a civil case).

As we’ve seen this week, he certainly wasn’t there to support his two eldest sons as they took the stand — even after Eric dutifully attended behind him each day he sat at the defence table.

Perhaps he’ll stick around for Ivanka’s testimony on Wednesday?

Here’s our coverage of the last time he was in court and how it ended with him storming out — perhaps an indication we should all buckle up on Monday...

Trump called to witness stand and fined $10k for violating gag order in fraud trial

Voices: Trump’s children learnt their father’s best tricks - and it could be his downfall

Friday 3 November 2023 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Elise Seyfried writes:

I used to resent one of my co-workers who habitually came in late, left early, even helped themselves to other people’s work. There seemed to be no consequences for them, ever. “They’re getting away with murder!” I would sputter in frustration. I understood this to be just a figure of speech; I never really believed things could escalate to actual mayhem.

I thought of this colleague when, in 2016, Donald Trump boasted on tape that he could shoot someone on Fifth Ave and not lose voters. “Figure of speech!” I thought at the time. But then came the next seven years, and the endless cascade of lies and double-dealing from the 45th President. And yet Trump seemed to be correct in his belief that accountability was for suckers.

Until perhaps, at long last, now.

Read the full article...

NY fraud trial: Judge expands gag order to cover Trump’s attorneys

Friday 3 November 2023 19:19 , Oliver O'Connell

Justice Arthur Engoron presides over former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial (Getty Images)
Justice Arthur Engoron presides over former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial (Getty Images)

Justice Arthur Engoron has expanded the gag order he issued earlier in Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial to also cover the former president’s attorneys after heated discussions took place in court this week over his communications between the judge and his law clerk.

In a written order issued on Friday afternoon after the court adjourned for the weekend, Judge Engoron prohibited Mr Trump’s lawyers from making further comments about his confidential communications with his staff whether inside or outside of the courtroom.

“Since the commencement of this bench trial, my chambers have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters and packages. The First Amendment right of defendants and their attorneys to comment on my staff is far and away outweighed by the need to protect them from threats and physical harm,” the judge wrote.

There will be serious sanctions for those who violate the order.

Judge Engoron clashed with defence attorney Christopher Kise on both Thursday and Friday in court as the former president’s sons Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump testified.

George Santos sinks lower with vile attack on GOP lawmaker’s son

Friday 3 November 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Serial liar George Santos unleashed a vile attack on the son of a fellow Republican lawmaker, calling him a “felon” and a “drug dealer” who has been “poisoning people on the streets with meth”.

The revolting diatribe came about after the GOP Rep Steve Womack revealed his disappointment that Mr Santos had survived a vote to expel him from Congress on Wednesday.

“Last night, the House saw its shadow. Unfortunately, this means there will be two more weeks of Santos,” Mr Womack quipped on X, formerly Twitter.

In response, the embattled New York congressman chose to launch a venomous and highly personal attack on Mr Womack’s son James Womack.

Rachel Sharp reports on what he said.

George Santos unleashes vile attack on GOP lawmaker’s son

Today in court: Trump attorneys threaten mistrial motion in fraud case after warnings from judge

Friday 3 November 2023 18:40 , Oliver O'Connell

The day after a New York judge assailed Donald Trump’s attorneys for comments about his chief clerk, the former president’s lead lawyer threatened to file a motion for a mistrial in a case that could collapse the Trump family’s business empire.

On 2 November, Judge Arthur Engoron warned that he would widen his gag order to include comments from the Trumps’ attorneys, after they criticised the judge’s principal law clerk for advising him throughout the trial.

The judge imposed a gag order earlier this month that blocks any parties from making comments about the court’s staff after the former president made a series of false and disparaging remarks about her outside the courtroom and on his Truth Social account.

Mr Trump already has violated the order twice, incurring $15,000 in fines.

After hours of testimony from Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump this week, which lawyers for the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James said were “extremely” favourable in their case targeting the Trump Organization, lead attorney Christopher Kise launched into a tirade on Friday about the clerk’s perceived “bias”, allegations outlined in a right-wing news website, and what he feels like are “two adversaries” on the bench.

Alex Woodward has been watching the trial unfold in court for The Independent, read the rest of his report here:

Trump attorneys threaten mistrial motion in fraud case

Trump-appointed State Department official sentenced to nearly six years over Jan 6 riot

Friday 3 November 2023 18:30 , AP

A Marine Corps veteran who served as a politically appointed State Department official in former President Donald Trump’s administration was sentenced on Friday to nearly six years in prison for attacking police officers during the 6 January 2021, riot at the US Capitol.

Federico Klein joined other Trump supporters in one of the most violent episodes of the January 6 siege — a mob’s fight with outnumbered police for control of a tunnel entrance on the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace. Klein repeatedly assaulted officers, urged other rioters to join the fray and tried to stop police from shutting entrance doors, according to federal prosecutors.

Klein “waged a relentless siege on police officers” as he tried to enter the Capitol and stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory over Trump, prosecutors said in a court filing.

Klein, who didn’t testify at his trial, declined to address the court before US District Judge Trevor McFadden sentenced him to five years and 10 months in prison.

“Your actions on January 6th were shocking and egregious,” the judge told Klein.

McFadden also ordered Klein to pay a $3,000 fine and $2,000 in restitution. He will report to prison at a date to be determined.

Klein worked in the State Department’s office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs from 2017 until he resigned from that position on 19 January 2021, a day before Biden’s inauguration.

Prosecutors said Klein’s participation in the riot was likely motivated by a desire to keep his job as a presidential appointee.

‘Vaping groping’ Lauren Boebert slammed by Marjorie Taylor Greene

Friday 3 November 2023 18:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Marjorie Taylor Greene has lashed out at “vaping groping” Lauren Boebert in the latest spat between the friends turned sworn foes.

The Georgia congresswoman had gone on the attack against fellow Republican Rep Chip Roy after he voted against her resolution to censure Muslim lawmaker Rashida Tlaib over her stance on the Israel-Hamas war.

Mr Roy was one of 23 Republicans who joined 199 Democrats in rejecting Ms Greene’s measure and defended the move in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“Rep. Rashida Tlaib has repeatedly made outrageous remarks toward Israel and the Jewish people. Her conduct is unbecoming of a member of Congress and certainly worthy of condemnation - if not censure,” Mr Roy wrote on X.

The post clearly rattled Ms Greene who fired off an angry reply – while managing to take aim at her fellow MAGA fan but sworn rival Ms Boebert in the process.

Read more...

Watch: Eric Trump claims world ‘laughing about what’s going on'

Friday 3 November 2023 18:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump is already accusing his 2024 GOP rivals of cheating

Friday 3 November 2023 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Although more than three months remain before the 2024 Iowa caucus kicks into gear, former President Donald Trump has already begun accusing his political rivals of cheating.

In a video posted on the Republican frontrunner’s Instagram page on Tuesday evening, Mr Trump said, “You know the other side does cheat, and we’re not gonna let that happen.”

He encouraged Iowa caucus-goers to “do whatever is necessary” on 15 January to “make America great again.”

“If you do, we will win. We will win big and that’s what you have to do,” the former president added.

Mr Trump is no stranger to bogus election fraud claims.

Kelly Rissman reports.

Trump is already accusing his 2024 rivals of cheating

Watch: NYAG Letitia James comments on testimony of Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump

Friday 3 November 2023 17:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Why is the testimony of Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka important to the Trump civil fraud trial?

Friday 3 November 2023 17:20 , Oliver O'Connell

The main focus on Donald Trump’s myriad of legal woes shifted to Lower Manhattan in October as his civil fraud case came to trial at New York state’s Supreme Court.

New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the case against the Trump Organization and maintains that between 2011 and 2021 the company falsified financial statements regarding the development of several real estate projects and artificially inflated Mr Trump’s net worth in order to get better financing terms from banks and insurance companies.

This was done by over-stating valuations of the former president’s most prestigious holdings including his triplex penthouse at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan and his current home at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Their entire New York real estate empire is already in peril after a pre-trial ruling included the cancellation of their business licences in the state.

As the prosecution’s case draws to a close, three of his adult children are taking the stand to testify under oath, which begs the question: how are they wrapped up in all this and why is their testimony important at the trial?

Why are Trump’s children testifying at New York civil fraud trial?

Friday 3 November 2023 17:05 , Oliver O'Connell

What does Melania Trump think of case against her husband?

Friday 3 November 2023 16:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Melania Trump hasn’t spoken publicly about the case, but the former president has told reporters at the courthouse what he thinks she feels about the trial...

Trump reveals how Melania feels about his civil fraud trial

ICYMI: Yesterday in court at the Trump civil fraud trial

Friday 3 November 2023 16:35 , Oliver O'Connell

After hours of testimony from Donald Trump’s adult sons that the office of New York Attorney General called “extremely” favourable in its case against his business empire, attorneys for the former president raged at the judge overseeing the case, throwing a last-minute grenade into Thursday’s trial.

Judge Arthur Engoron snapped at Trump attorney Christopher Kise, who mentioned the judge’s chief clerk, the subject of disparaging comments from Mr Trump that prompted a gag order he subsequently violated twice.

“Do not refer to my staff again,” the judge said. “If there’s any further reference to anyone on my staff … I will include a standing gag order to include [attorneys].”

Judge Engoron suggested that there’s a “bit of misogyny” that fuels the comments against his female clerk, which Mr Trump’s attorneys flatly denied.

Read on...

Trump team called out for ‘misogyny’ after Donald Jr and Eric testify in fraud trial

NY fraud trial: 3 November in courtroom sketches

Friday 3 November 2023 16:22 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s son and co-defendant, Eric Trump, is questioned by state lawyer Andrew Amer as he testifies during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial (REUTERS)
Donald Trump’s son and co-defendant, Eric Trump, is questioned by state lawyer Andrew Amer as he testifies during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial (REUTERS)
While Eric Trump’s testimony was the focus, the ongoing confrontation between Judge Arthur Engoron and defence counsel Christopher Kise provided the most contentious moments of the day (REUTERS)
While Eric Trump’s testimony was the focus, the ongoing confrontation between Judge Arthur Engoron and defence counsel Christopher Kise provided the most contentious moments of the day (REUTERS)

NY fraud trial: Eric Trump testimony concludes

Friday 3 November 2023 15:50 , Oliver O'Connell

With no cross-examination of the witness by defence counsel, Eric Trump’s testimony concludes and the court adjourns for the weekend.

That’s two Trumps down, two more to testify with the next being former president Donald Trump himself on Monday morning — brace yourselves.

Ivanka Trump will testify on Wednesday having lost her appeal that it’s really inconvenient being in the middle of the school week.

Friday 3 November 2023 15:42 , Oliver O'Connell

Before the court takes its mid-morning break there is another confrontation between defence counsel Kise and Judge Engoron.

The judge warned there were to be no more remarks about his clerk, even to create a court record.

“If you want to appeal, or move to recuse, you have plenty of ammunition,” Judge Engoron says but also notes that he has every right to receive notes from his staff.

“If you want to make a motion at this point, go ahead and do it ... You’ve made speeches. You’ve made observations ... What more of a record do you want?”

Kise again complains about having “two adversaries” in this trial.

New York Attorney General’s counsel Kevin Wallace slams the “sideshow “of the clerk passing notes to the judge as being “designed to interrupt our ability to put an end to this.”

“If there’s something improper between a judge and a clerk passing notes, you should make your motion now,” he says.

Judge Engoron says he will issue a written decision on the matter later today.

In a moment of heavy sarcasm, Kise responds loudly to NYAG counsel Andrew Amer’s request to the judge about establishing a record about an unrelated issue: “Wow, a record! There needs to be a record! That’s interesting.”

Friday 3 November 2023 15:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Trump is shown former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg’s severance agreement put together after his guilty plea on 15 criminal charges including grand larceny, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records.

Eric agrees that the language of the non-disparagement clause would include a bar on Weisselberg from speaking ill of him, his brother and their father.

Asked if he participated in the decision to create the agreement for Weisselberg, Eric responds affirmatively.

“Did your father direct you to enter into his agreement with Mr. Weisselberg?” Amer asks.

“No he did not,” Eric says. “I did this agreement with Mr. Weisselberg.”

NY fraud trial: Eric Trump confronted with loan documents he signed

Friday 3 November 2023 15:20 , Oliver O'Connell

The prosecution shows the court documentation of Deutsche Bank loans for the Doral golf course in Miami, the Trump International Hotel and Condominiums in Chicago, and the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, all of which were signed by Eric Trump attesting to Donald Trump’s financials.

“You did intend for this to be an accurate representation,” Amer asks.

“I wouldn’t sign something if it wasn’t accurate, so yes,” Eric says.

“We just looked at three certifications you signed [attesting to Trump’s wealth]. What if anything did you do to ascertain that the 2021 statements of financial condition [were accurate]?” he asks.

“I relied on the accounting office, I relied on one of the biggest accounting firms in the country. I relied on a great legal team...and when they gave me comfort [I signed the certification], Eric says.

This is similar to his brother’s responses to questioning — that they relied on accountants and lawyers to provide them with accurate numbers.

In earlier testimony and in his taped deposition Eric has sought to minimise his involvement in the finances of the company claiming to have no involvement in the Statements of Financial Condition at the heart of the case (despite emails showing his contribution to asset valuations) and went as far as saying: “I pour concrete. I operate properties. I don’t focus on appraisals between a law firm and Cushman. This is just not what I do in my day-to-day responsibilities.”

In pictures: Eric Trump’s testimony resumes

Friday 3 November 2023 14:59 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Trump (2L) sits in the courtroom alongside his attorneys (L-R) Alina Habba, Clifford Robert, and Christopher Kise (Getty Images)
Eric Trump (2L) sits in the courtroom alongside his attorneys (L-R) Alina Habba, Clifford Robert, and Christopher Kise (Getty Images)
New York Attorney General Letitia James sits in the courtroom during the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump on 3 November 2023 (Getty Images)
New York Attorney General Letitia James sits in the courtroom during the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump on 3 November 2023 (Getty Images)
Justice Arthur Engoron presides over former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial (Getty Images)
Justice Arthur Engoron presides over former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial (Getty Images)
This is the second day of testimony for Eric Trump (Getty Images)
This is the second day of testimony for Eric Trump (Getty Images)

NY fraud trial: Prosecution responds to bias claims

Friday 3 November 2023 14:31 , Oliver O'Connell

Counsel for the New York Attorney General’s Office Andrew Amer responds to the accusations of bias from the defence.

“The notion that bias can be assessed by the number of notes passed between a clerk and a judge ... I've never heard of that.”

He notes that no party has the right to be privy to the internal deliberations of chambers. That's absolutely clear. That includes knowing how many notes are being passed from one party to another.

Amer adds that they are wasting a lot of time with speeches and any issues should be put in motion papers.

Judge Engoron remarks: “It’s a shame that we descended to this level. I agree that the world is watching.”

Eric Trump’s testimony resumes.

Friday 3 November 2023 14:28 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward writes:

Trump’s legal strategy for years has been to delay, delay, delay, and his attorneys in the fraud trial are now pressing the judge about how they can make their complaints, on the record, about his chief clerk, without violating the trial’s gag order that prohibits comments about court staff.

Eric Trump’s testimony yesterday was “extremely” favourable to the attorney general, counsel said. While he was still on the stand, his attorneys lobbed another deflection grenade into the hearing with critical comments directed at Judge Arthur Engoron’s clerk.

This morning, before Eric Trump’s testimony resumes, attorney Christopher Kise has launched into a tirade about her perceived “bias”, media reports about her campaign contributions, and what he feels like are “two adversaries” on the stand.

The judge warned yesterday that if these kinds of comments continue he’ll consider putting attorneys under the gag order. Mr Kise seems to be putting himself on the line here. Eric still has a half day of testimony left, and his father will be on the stand on Monday. His attorneys think they can argue their way into a mistrial.