A civil trial began Monday in a Manhattan courtroom in regard to New York Attorney General Letitia James' $250 million lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization over allegations that he illegally overinflated the reported values of his own properties and net worth in order to fraudulently obtain bank loans.
During a break in those proceedings, Trump addressed reporters and accused the presiding judge of "getting away with murder" in terms of engaging in blatant "election interference" against him, according to the Washington Examiner.
The former president took great exception to the apparent bias against him exhibited by both AG James and Justice Arthur Engoron, with Trump calling out that judge for his pre-trial summary judgment issued last week that found him liable for fraud and dramatically undervalued his South Florida Mar-a-Lago resort property at as little as $18 million when it in actuality is valued at many times that amount.
In a roughly eight-minute rant to journalists outside the courtroom, former President Trump blasted the entire affair as a "disgraceful" waste of valuable time and resources, particularly when an appellate court had already ruled that approximately "80%" of the claims against him were nullified due to being beyond the statute of limitations.
He went on to accuse the "Trump-hater" Judge Engoron of going "rogue" and flatly ignoring the appellate decision and likewise asserted that AG James was a "corrupt" and "terrible" person focused solely on him to the detriment of other real crimes happening in New York.
As for Engoron's severe undervaluing of the Mar-a-Lago property at between $18-27 million -- which Trump argued was actually worth anywhere from $1-1.5 billion -- he pointed to a recent article from The New York Sun that cited Florida real estate experts who had called out the judge for his apparent "misunderstanding of basic real estate law."
That article revealed how the judge had mistakenly relied upon the notoriously incorrect and routinely undervalued county tax assessment rather than an actual market value-based appraisal that, given Mar-a-Lago's size and iconic status in conjunction with the appraised -- not assessed -- value of comparable properties would push Mar-a-Lago's actual value into the range of at least several hundred million dollars.
"So they're saying the judge has misunderstood basic real estate practice," Trump said. "I say they're wrong about that. He didn't misunderstand it. This is a rigged court. He's put there to do a job on Trump."
"He's a Democrat-club politician. He's a Democrat operative, and he's a disgrace to people that call themselves judges," he continued. "And I hope my lawyers go in and I hope they fight him very hard because this guy is getting away with murder."
A moment later, Trump concluded, "This is a judge that should be disbarred. This is a judge that should be out of office. 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."
Following Trump's remarks, a reporter asked him why he was there at the courthouse for the first day of the trial when his presence was not required, and Trump stated with no hesitation, "Because I want to watch this witch hunt myself."
"I've been going through a witch hunt for years, but this is really now getting dirty between [Special Counsel] Jack Smith and between all of these DOJ people helping them along," he added in regard to the multiple criminal indictments he faces. "This is a pure witch hunt for purposes of interfering with the elections of the United States of America. It's totally illegal. This judge should be disbarred -- he shouldn't be allowed to be a judge."
Per the Examiner, Engoron has said that this trial could last until late December -- though such an expanse of time seems unnecessary and unreasonable given many of the claims are beyond the statute of limitations as well as his preemptive summary judgment on the matter -- and if this was Trump's reaction on the first day, we can likely expect more angry and indignant outbursts aimed at the judge and state attorney general in the coming days, weeks, and months.