OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The Manhattan judge overseeing Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial apparently has so much disdain for the former president that he won’t even grant a humanitarian request.
Trump’s legal team had requested a delay in closing arguments in the trial to attend to his wife, Melania Trump after her mother passed away this week, but Judge Arthur Engoron was having none of it.
“An email chain shows the lawyer, Chris Kise, raising the issue in the middle of a conversation about establishing the grounds by which Trump could deliver his own closing argument on Thursday,” The Daily Wire reported.
“I am sad to advise the Court that Mrs. Trump’s mother passed away this evening,” Kise wrote, alluding to the death of the former first lady’s 78-year-old mother, Amalija Knavs, on Tuesday.
“Because of the challenges presented by this deeply personal family matter, President Trump has asked that I request the Court postpone the date for closing argument until on or after January 29, 2024, so that he may attend and participate in the Court proceedings,” Kise added.
But Engoron, while expressing his condolences, said he was not inclined to delay the trial, citing logistical issues.
“I’m sure you realize, although you may not realize to what extent, that every appearance of Mr. Trump requires court officers, court clerks, administrators, security details, technical people, etc. to rearrange their schedules and to plan for the day,” Engoron said.
“The administration even had to ‘evict’ the jury trial currently taking place in Room 300 for tomorrow. Of course, I am also anxious to hear a full day of closing statements as I consider the case as a whole. On balance, going forward makes the most sense. Please tell Mr. Trump that I am sorry,” the judge continued.
Kise replied, “Despite the fact that his Mother-in Law, who he was very close to, passed away late last night, President Trump will be speaking tomorrow.”
That said, Kise didn’t appear to have agreed to Engoron’s demands that the former president accept certain conditions like barring him from impugning any of the participants in the trial, including New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the case and is demanding $370 million in damages, or delivering a “campaign speech.”
The emails indicated that Trump’s legal team failed to meet a repeatedly extended deadline for a response, the Daily Wire noted further.
“Not having heard from you by the third extended deadline (noon today), I assume that Mr. Trump will not agree to the reasonable, lawful limits I have imposed as a precondition to giving a closing statement above and beyond those given by his attorneys, and that, therefore, he will not be speaking in court tomorrow,” Engoron said.
Meanwhile, following an appearance in a federal appeals court on Tuesday, where a three-judge panel heard arguments on whether Trump was protected by presidential immunity for actions taken in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 election, he warned President Joe Biden he could face indictments too following his time in office.
“In a video posted on Truth Social, Trump spoke about his argument that he should be immune from prosecution related to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol because the charges stem from actions he took as president,” the Independent Journal Review reported on Tuesday, adding that Trump went on to say that Biden directed his Justice Department to politically persecute him.
“(Biden) told his DOJ to do it, ‘Go indict him.’ Because he’s losing badly in the polls—so badly that he figures this is the only way he can win. The only problem is that thus far, it’s pushed us way up in the polls because people see it’s a scam,” Trump said.
“Frankly, it’s never happened in our country before. It only happens in third-world countries or banana republics. They’re using their Department of Injustice to go after his political (opponent), and this is all him, a hundred percent him. He’s the one that told them to do it and they obey his orders. It’s a shame. Never happened in the United States before, but it’s happened now,” Trump continued before he appeared to drop a warning.
“And he has to be careful because that can happen to him also. The next president, whoever that may be, has a statute of limitations that go back six years. That’s a long time, Joe. You have to be very careful. We have to guard and protect our country. We have to do what’s right for our country,” Trump said, adding: “You don’t indict your political opponent because he opposes the corrupt election, which you know was corrupt… You don’t indict your political opponent.”