Trump visits Manhattan court to blast NYAG case, praises appellate ruling in his favor

Former President Trump called the non-jury New York civil trial against him and his business a “weaponization of justice,” and again bashed the proceedings and lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James as “election interference.”  Trump appeared in court Thursday, days before he is expected to take the stand in the trial for a second time on Monday. Trump reacted to Thursday morning testimony from a defense expert witness, New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov, who reviewed the Trump financial statements at issue in the case and said he found no evidence of accounting fraud. TRUMP DEMANDS JURY, SAYS NEW YORK AG HAS ‘NO CASE’ IN HEATED TESTIMONY Bartov, testified that Trump’s financial statements didn’t violate accounting principles, and he suggested that anything problematic — like a huge year-to-year leap in the estimated value of the his Trump Tower penthouse — was simply an error. “My main finding is that there is no evidence whatsoever of any accounting fraud,” Bartov testified. Trump’s financial statements, he said, “were not materially misstated.” Trump, reacting to that testimony during a court break, said Bartov is a “highly respected man.” “I don’t know him, but he’s a expert witness. And he found no fraud whatsoever. He found no accounting fraud whatsoever,” Trump said. “And like everyone else, he said, what are we doing here? What are we doing here? This is a political witch hunt. This is meant to influence an election. This also comes from the White House. This is not just a state matter because the White House is controlling district attorneys.” TRUMP, JUDGE ENGORON TRADE JABS DURING FORMER PRESIDENT’S TESTIMONY IN CIVIL TRIAL STEMMING FROM NYAG LAWSUIT Trump added: “This case should be over. This case should never have been brought.” The former president, again, characterized the case as a “weaponization of justice. “This is something that nobody’s ever seen to this extent is called election interference,” Trump said. “It’s a sad day for our country that if things like this can take place.” The former president and 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner added: “I’m sitting in a courthouse instead of being in Iowa where I should be, even though I’m leading by about 40 points.” Meanwhile, during his time in court Thursday, a New York State Appeals Court on Thursday affirmed an October decision that paused the dissolution of the Trump Organization until after the trial is complete. The New York Appellate Division in October temporarily halted the dissolution of some of the former president’s most valuable properties amid the civil fraud trial. DEUTSCHE BANK SOUGHT OUT ‘WHALE’ OF A CLIENT IN TRUMP, BENEFITED FROM RELATIONSHIP, FORMER EXECUTIVE TESTIFIES That ruling paused a September pre-trial ruling made by Judge Arthur Engoron, who found that Trump and his family business committed fraud. That order stripped the Trump family of certain properties, like Trump Tower and 40 Wall St. Trump, who appeared in Manhattan court Thursday, said the ruling was a victory for business. “The appellate division, New York State, just gave us a very good ruling,” he said. “Appreciate it. I think the country appreciates it.” “Businesses are watching this case. No business will move back into New York. No business will, frankly stay in New York. A lot of businesses are talking about leaving New York,” Trump continued. The trial, which Engoron is presiding over, stems from James’ lawsuit against former President Trump, his family, and his businesses. James accused Trump of inflating his financial statements and deceiving banks. James filed the lawsuit against Trump “under a consumer protection statute that denies the right to a jury,” a Trump spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “There was never an option to choose a jury trial,” the spokesperson said. “It is unfortunate that a jury won’t be able to hear how absurd the merits of this case are and conclude no wrongdoing ever happened.” Trump and his family have denied any wrongdoing. The former president has repeatedly said his assets were actually undervalued. Trump has repeatedly said his financial statements had disclaimers, requesting that the numbers be evaluated by the banks. Maria Paronich and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
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