NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump claimed he is an “innocent man” during the closing arguments of his New York fraud trial on Thursday, unleashing an attack inside the courtroom.
Trump unleashed a barrage of attacks in a six-minute rant before being cut off by Judge Arthur Engoron. When the judge asked if Trump would follow the rule that required him to keep his remarks focused on matters related to the trial, the former president ignored him and spoke anyway.
“I am an innocent man,” Trump said. “I’m being persecuted by someone running for office and I think you have to go outside the bounds.”
“This is not consumer fraud,” he added. “This is no fraud. It is a fraud on me.”
Despite the judge’s warning, Trump attacked the judge and New York Attorney General Letitia James before being cut off by Engoron.
“I know this is boring to you. I know you have your own agenda,” Trump angrily told the judge.
Trump departed the courtroom as the state made their final arguments. He said that James is a “political hack” and “we’ve proven the case so conclusively.”
James and her team said that the case has never been about politics.
“This case is about the facts and the law, and Mr. Donald Trump violated the law,” James said in a press conference with reporters after the hearing.
The judge’s verdict could dramatically impact Trump’s business, which is being sued for $370 million. The fine could result in him losing his name from some of the buildings.
“It’s up to me now and will do my best to have a final decision by January 31st,” Engoron said.
Trump maintains his properties were worth even more than the inflated financial statements showed and added he shouldn’t have to pay any damages because he never defaulted on any of his loans.
Trump denied any wrongdoing and called the case “election interference at the highest level.”