BREAKING: Judge Issues Verdict In Penalty Phase Of Trump’s New York Fraud Trial


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

New York Judge Arthur Engoron has reached a verdict in the penalty phase civil fraud trial case against former President Donald Trump.

The former president’s company was facing hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and the possible loss of its license to do business in the state of New York.

The judge issued his decision on Friday and handed the Trump Organization a $364 Million Fine and 3-Year Ban from doing business in New York.

New York Attorney General Letitia James was asking the court for $370 million in fines and a ban on Trump and other defendants from continuing to do business in the state.

In December a leading legal expert cautioned the judge presiding over Donald Trump’s $250 million civil fraud trial in Manhattan, warning that his demeanor with the former president in court could come back to haunt him.


Attorney Michael Conway, who is a former House Judiciary Committee counsel, chided Judge Arthur Engoron over his language and behavior, citing in a column for MSNBC the trial of the so-called “Chicago 7,” as he reminded the judge “that the defendants in the notorious case went out of their way to antagonize Judge Julius Hoffman, which seems to be Donald Trump’s strategy in a case where Engoron has already found evidence of fraud.”

Conway further highlighted that during witness testimony, Engoron often clashed with both Trump’s legal team and the former president himself. Additionally, Conway mentioned that the use of profanity by Engoron is likely to become a focal point in any future appeal.

“In New York, Engoron has used strident language in rejecting Trump’s legal positions, terming them ‘pure sophistry,’ ‘risible,’ ‘bogus arguments,’ and ‘egregious’ in his summary judgment opinion. He sanctioned five Trump attorneys for $7,500 each for the ‘borderline frivolous’ arguments in their briefs,” Conway said in his column.

“Harsh language isn’t a problem if it’s justified. But the more Engoron pushes the envelope, the more he risks an appellate court disagreeing with his assessment. And Trump’s lawyers can and will argue the judge’s rhetoric is evidence of judicial bias,” Conway wrote.

The legal expert then added that “there are other examples of Engoron seemingly overreacting in response to relentless complaining from Trump’s lawyers” before noting: “He needs to take all necessary steps to ensure that a New York appellate court cannot overturn his decision. And that means not reacting to Trump’s hate-filled speech or to his lawyers’ baiting and provocation. It’s simply not worth it.”

Outside the courtroom where his fraud trial is being held, Trump ranted about Engoron, ignoring questions about his recent “dictator” remarks and the latest GOP presidential debate.

In the fraud case that New York Attorney General Letitia James brought, Trump has made multiple appearances, and he has taken numerous opportunities to address reporters between proceedings.

Weeks before that Engoron rejected the former president’s appeal for a directed ruling to exonerate him.

Engorn disagreed with Trump’s request for the court to rule in his favor and pointed out several “fatal flaws” in the former president’s defense, including the data provided by Eli Bartov, a research professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

There is “no evidence whatsoever” that Trump or his family committed fraud with their financial statements, according to Bartov’s testimony in the New York court. After the fact, it came to light that Bartov received $877,500—or $1,350 per hour—for defending the former president.


Engoron stated, “Bartov is a tenured professor, but his testimony proves that some experts will say whatever you want them to say for a million or so dollars,” in response to Trump and his legal team’s assumption that the court would accept Bertov’s testimony as “true and accurate.”

Engoron continued by saying that Bartov had “lost all credibility” because he had “doggedly attempted to justify every misstatement” the ousted president had made during his testimony.

Judge Engoron exhibited more bizarre behavior during a previous court session, launching a mini tirade at the former president’s legal team.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron slammed a hand down on his table during a cross-examination of a witness after he grew annoyed at the line of questioning, according to the New York Post.

Trump’s lawyers were getting very technical with Mazars USA partner David Bender when Engoron exclaimed, “This is ridiculous!” after the president’s attorneys accused Bender of refusing to answer questions.

“Don’t waste time,” he added as Trump’s attorneys tried arguing that they had to go through their client’s records “year by year” with the witness.

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