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Former President Donald Trump shared a strange court sketch on social media that showed him at his Manhattan fraud case with a person who looked like Jesus Christ sitting next him.
Trump’s lawyers spent his first day in court claiming his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida was actually worth at least $1 billion, rather than the $18 million prosecutors allege he inflated the values of his properties.
The former president and 2024 candidate, 77, scowled and shook his head as prosecutors accused him of ‘lying year after year’ to exaggerate the value of his property empire by $2.2 billion to obtain favorable bank loans.
However, he shared an image on Truth Social that showed a more angelic side, a court sketch showing the image of God’s son sticking by his side.
Dom Lucre, a pro-Trump political commentator with over 700,000 followers on Twitter, captioned the image: ‘This is the most accurate court sketch of all time. Because nobody could have made it this far alone.’
Former President Donald Trump shared a strange court sketch on social media that showed him at his Manhattan fraud case with a likeness of Jesus Christ sitting next to Trump
Trump shared the image to his Truth Social platform without any further caption, which Lucre later re-shared on Twitter with a fire emoji.
The former president’s first day in court in any of his criminal or civil trials was marked by his shift in attitude toward Judge Arthur Engoron.
Trump did the stunning turnaround after after the judge, in response to testimony by the longtime accountant who did work for the Trump Organization, said the appearance by the witness may have been a ‘waste of time.’
‘The judge’s last statement was very fair,’ Trump said, after previously railing against Judge Arthur Engoron as a Democratic ‘operative.’
‘The way I interpret that … the statute of limitations is a very real thing in this country and that would kick out 80 per cent of this case would be over,’ Trump said. He characterized the statement as a welcome and unexpected development.
‘But this was a big, big – I say surprise – but it was a great credit to the court that the judge was willing to do this sort of overruled himself and I greatly respect that,’ Trump said.
Trump’s lawyers agreed with the judge’s statement, and Trump gave a thumbs up.
But the judge himself did not go so far as to say the majority of the case was being tossed.
He appeared to recognize how the appeals court had decided the issue. Trump’s team had sued Sept. 14th and accused Engoron of ignoring the appeals court’s decision.
Engoron made the statement in court in response to testimony by longtime Mazars accountant Donald Bender. He spoke about his process of accepting valuations provided by his client, while discussing used for Trump Organization returns in 2011.
Trump’s lawyers spent his first day in court claiming his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida was actually worth at least $1 billion, rather than the $18 million prosecutors allege he inflated the values of his properties
Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to Trump Tower after attending the first day of his civil fraud trial. He gave ‘credit’ to Judge Arthur Engoron for making a ‘very fair’ statement – just hours after saying he should be disbarred
The judge then made an acknowledgement of an appeals court decision – the subject of a procedural court fight – that the law governing the statute of limitations for the fraud that Engoron found occurred applied only back to 2014.
‘I trust that you can relate the 2011 documents to something that happened later,’ Engoron said told prosecutors, ‘Or this has all been a waste of time.’
It was not immediately clear whether the comment constituted a substantial win or merely an inkling of where the judge might be headed.
Trump took the rosier view, saying that ‘something that we won on appeal but was not accepted by this court now seems to be accepted by this court.’
He gushed, ‘We very much appreciate the decision today or at least taken today on the statute of limitations,’ then once again defended his ‘very strong company’ and property valuations he said were accepted by banks with lawyers even ‘better than my attorneys.’
It was a stark turnaround form just two hours earlier, when Trump delivered an angry attack on the state Supreme Court judge overseeing his case – saying Engoron should be disbarred and ‘charged criminally’ amid adverse rulings.
Trump blasted the judge for an earlier summary judgement ruling in the case that has him facing potential penalties of $250 million, although his team had sought summary judgement in the case.
‘This is a judge that should be disbarred. This is a judge that should be out of office,’ Trump said.
‘This is a judge that some people say could be charged criminally for what he’s doing. He’s interfering with an election, and it’s a disgrace,’ Trump fumed.
Trump made the extraordinary statement during a lunch break just steps outside the courtroom, with reporters and cameras staked out inside the New York courthouse.
Trump said Judge Arthur Engoron, could be ‘charged criminally’ for his handling of the case
Engoron attended Columbia University, got his law degree from New York University, and worked as a litigator and a law clerk
Trump touted a comment by the judge at the end of the day in court, using it to declare a partial victory
He repeated a claim that Justice Department officials were pulling the strings in the Empire State, while once again attacking state AG Letitia James, special counsel Jack Smith, and even a clerk he claimed is in Judge Engoron’s ‘ear.’
‘This guy’s getting away with murder. And his clerk should not be allowed to be in his ear with every single question,’ Trump said.
‘You should take a look at her. She hates Trump even more than he does,’ he suggested.
His attacks come despite being warned in unrelated criminal cases about attacks on court personnel.
Smith’s team sought a gag order from U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan by citing many of his previous attacks on prosecutors, even citing his attacks on the judge herself. She also ruled against a motion by Trump’s team that she should recuse herself.
‘Take a look at Jack Smith. Take a look at these people. This is called election interference and worse than that, much worse than that,’ he said.
In the New York case, with massive fines and licensing of parts of his real estate empire on the line, Trump is balancing courtroom strategy with an electoral one, with his poll performance rising despite a series of criminal indictments.
He called Judge Engoron a ‘Democrat club politician’ and a ‘Democrat operative.’ After Enogoron’s summary judgement ruling, Trump called him ‘deranged.’
Engoron attended Columbia University, got his law degree from New York University, and worked as a litigator and a law clerk. In his rulings he has mentioned taking part in a Vietnam War protest and driving a taxi cab, according to an AP profile.
He was elected unopposed to the state Supreme Court.
Trump blasted the judge while standing just steps from his courtroom
Earlier Trump called AG Letitia James ‘racist.’ He called her a ‘disgrace,’ and said in a pre-trial tirade, ‘You ought to go after this attorney general’
Trump tore into special counsel Jack Smith, who has sought a partial gag order in a criminal case against him
Trump also tore into New York AG Letitia James, calling her a ‘disgrace to our country. Take a look at Jack Smith. Take a look at these people,’ he said.
Judge Engoron is barred from hitting back at Trump in the press, although he has decision-making authority in the non-jury trial.
He also erupted over the valuation for Mar-a-Lago that the judge cited in a ruling that Trump inflated assets by $2 billion.
Trump cited articles quoting real estate experts who were shocked by the low valuations. He then said the private club was worth $1.5 billion.
‘Anybody that does business in New York State is crazy,’ said Trump, who moved his official domicile to Florida.
Trump used the valuations to make his best case with the media. ‘I’ve got a lot of respect for you – not all of you but a lot of you,’ he said.
Asked why he decided to come to court in person, he skipped the trial where he was found liable for sexual abuse of E Jean Carroll, Trump said: ‘Because I want to watch this witch hunt myself.’
Trump had earlier gone after Engoron on his Truth Social platform as a ‘ROGUE, OUT OF CONTROL, TRUMP HATING JUDGE.’
A five-judge appeals court last week denied a motion by Trump’s lawyers to postpone the trial. It also lifted another judge’s order that had put the trial on hold.
In his ruling, Engoron hit close to home by noting that Trump had misstated the size of his Trump Tower triplex, listing it at 30,000 square feet rather than 11,000.
‘A discrepancy of this order of magnitude, by a real estate developer sizing up his own living space of decades, can only be considered fraud,’ he wrote.
Trump’s team have argued that a June appeals court ruling puts some of Trump’s conduct outside a statute of limitations.
The judge decided he could go ahead with the trial.