New York Attorney General Letitia James is prosecuting former President Donald Trump for civil fraud, and on Monday, Trump made his court appearance before the judge trying his case.
Justice Arthur Engoron, the Democratic New York Supreme Court judge, already ruled that Trump, the Trump Organization, and authorities had overstated property values, making the case’s outcome a foregone conclusion. Engoron appointed an impartial receiver to oversee the liquidation of the defendants’ New York corporations after he had their corporate certifications revoked.
However, real estate professionals familiar with the area disputed the judge’s valuation of Mar-a-Lago, arguing that the judge had underestimated the property’s worth. While experts testified that smaller properties with less land were selling for $150 million or more, the judge tossed around estimates like $18 million and $21 million.
Alina Habba, a legal adviser and attorney for Trump, has characterized the trial as a political effort to bury Trump and take him out of the upcoming election.
Alina Habba remarked that it was absurd when Letitia James said no one is above the law when the Bidens and Democrats seem to be.
She repeated Trump’s argument that the Democrats are pressing charges because they fear losing support now that he is “winning in the polls.” Habba said she had lost faith in the system overall but still supported Trump.
James’ campaign in 2018 was primarily a promise to “go after” Trump. She attacked by calling him an “illegitimate president.” A Democrat running for Attorney General can openly voice that they will find something to get him with without raising an eyebrow,
There are obvious questions of potential bias in this case. The judge may have hoped that Trump would look terrible by allowing cameras in the courtroom. On the contrary, it was Engoron and Letitia James whose actions were questioned because it appeared that Letitia James was giving Trump the side eye and that Engoron was smiling and playing to the cameras.
The judge is acting for the camera and is losing his composure and professionalism, giddy that he is presiding over the trial against Trump. Since this is a bench trial, the decision will ultimately rest with him. For Trump, that’s terrible news.