Not allowed to blather, Trump retreats from demand to make his own closing statement

Trump wanted to make his own closing argument and Judge Arthur Engoron was willing to give him all the rope he needed.

Out-on-bail insurrectionist Donald Trump clearly wanted to grandstand and use the closing arguments in his NY real estate fraud case as a televised campaign stop. So the Orange Menace claimed he was going to present his closing arguments. Judge Engoron, as always, sought to give the defendant exactly what he was asking for and so granted permission with the requirement Trump actually talk about the case. Guess who doesn't want to show up if he can't have "free speech." It is pretty weird to want to argue this himself rather than let his attorneys do it, especially seeing as this is a bench trial. This judge isn't going to be impressed.

It's extremely unusual for people who have lawyers to give their own closing arguments. In an email exchange that happened over recent days and was filed in court Wednesday, Engoron initially approved the unusual request, saying he was "including to let everyone have his or her say."

But he said Trump would have to limit his remarks to the boundaries that cover attorneys' closing arguments: "commentary on the relevant, material facts that are in evidence, and application of the relevant law to those facts."

He would not be allowed to introduce new evidence, "comment on irrelevant matters" or "deliver a campaign speech" — or impugn the judge, his staff, the attorney general, her lawyers or the court system, the judge wrote.

Trump attorney Christopher Kise responded that those limitations were "fraught with ambiguities, creating the substantial likelihood for misinterpretation or an unintended violation. Engoron said that they were "reasonable, normal limits," but Kise termed them "very unfair."


Between the E. Jean Carroll defamation case and the NY civil fraud case, Trump stands to lose a substantial portion of his "not really a billionaire," heavily leveraged empire. So sad.