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Adam Klasfeld the messenger, Wikipedia, Twitter, Wife, Wiki, Age, Podcast – In a courtroom in New York, the trial of former President Donald Trump’s $250 million civil fraud case continued without Trump himself present. The atmosphere in the courtroom changed quite a bit, with fewer barricades and a more relaxed security presence. The media’s interest also seemed to have waned. Trump’s legal team, surprisingly, appeared to be getting along better with the attorneys representing New York Attorney General Letitia James and the presiding judge, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing the case without a jury.
Trump Attorney Faces Judge Frustration
On the first day of trial proceedings, Trump’s attorney, Jesus Suarez, questioned the first witness, Donald Bender, who is Trump’s former accountant. Suarez estimated that his questioning would continue through the following day. This estimate didn’t sit well with Judge Engoron, who accused Trump’s attorneys of unnecessarily prolonging the proceedings with questions that seemed more like a performance since there was no jury present.
Engoron’s admonishment seemed to have an effect on Suarez, who streamlined his questioning without losing its intensity. He asked Bender about the accountant’s seemingly shaky memory, his interviews with New York prosecutors, and his previous close relationship with Jeffrey McConney, the Trump Organization’s controller and a co-defendant in the case. Suarez pointed out that Bender responded with variations of “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall” a total of 89 times.
Suarez even raised the question of whether Bender’s memory lapses were due to medical issues, which Bender denied. To challenge this denial, Suarez presented a Mazars memorandum that highlighted the importance of Donald Bender to their relationship with the Trump Organization. The memo referred to Bender as “unique and an integral part of engagement” and “irreplaceable,” emphasizing that everything depended on his physical and mental health.
Before testifying in this civil case, Bender had also served as a defense witness in a criminal case against the Trump Organization brought by the Manhattan District Attorney. In that case, the Trump Organization was convicted and fined $1.61 million. Suarez suggested that Bender’s civil testimony might be influenced by his prior encounters with criminal prosecutors.
Suarez asked, “Did the District Attorney threaten you with prosecution?” Bender replied, “No, they did not.” When questioned about whether the District Attorney threatened Mazars with prosecution, Bender was less certain, saying, “Not that I’m aware of.”
Attorney Clifford Robert, who represents Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr., continued the questioning. He asked Bender about the nearly “90” times he claimed not to remember answers to questions. Bender disputed the precise number, but Robert pointed out his sharp recall of it, emphasizing that Bender, as an accountant, is “good with numbers,” while he himself is a lawyer. The cross-examination continued with Robert carefully pointing out discrepancies.
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In summary, the trial in Trump’s $250 million civil fraud case has seen a shift in tone with the former president absent from the courtroom. Trump’s legal team has been working to establish their case, with Donald Bender, Trump’s former accountant, as the first witness. The trial proceedings have been marked by tense moments, with Bender repeatedly claiming not to remember crucial details. Despite the absence of a jury, the courtroom drama continues, and both sides are eager to make their case.
What is the $250 million civil fraud trial about?
The trial involves a civil fraud case against former President Donald Trump, where he is accused of civil fraud amounting to $250 million.
Why did the courtroom atmosphere change when Trump was not present?
The courtroom atmosphere became less tense when Donald Trump was not present, with fewer barricades, relaxed security measures, and reduced media interest.
Who is presiding over the trial, and is there a jury?
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron is presiding over the trial, and there is no jury present in this case.
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