Published On: Wed, Oct 18th, 2023

Woman Taken into Custody for Approaching Trump During His Civil Fraud Trial

Woman Taken into Custody for Approaching Trump During His Civil Fraud Trial
Woman Taken into Custody for Approaching Trump During His Civil Fraud Trial

A woman was taken into custody on Wednesday for attempting to approach former President Donald Trump during his civil fraud trial in New York.

She expressed her desire to speak with Mr. Trump as she approached him during witness testimony in the New York attorney general’s $250 million civil action against the former president. Trump was seated at the defense table a few feet away, and the woman stated that she was there to show her support.

The court officer instructed her to return to her seat in the audience, which she did. However, a few minutes later, another court officer approached her and instructed her to leave, to which she initially objected but eventually complied. She left the courtroom with several court officers escorting her.

Trump did not appear to witness the incident, as it occurred behind where he was seated.

Outside of the courtroom, the woman expressed her feeling of being “scared” by the officers and defended her presence, stating, “I have a right to be here. I’m an American citizen, and I’m here to support Donald Trump.” She further expressed that the officers were “attacking” her.

Subsequently, she was taken into custody and charged with contempt of court in the second degree for disrupting a court proceeding.

A spokesperson for the state Office of Court Administration informed NBC New York that the woman is a court employee who has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

When asked about the incident as he was leaving the court, Trump responded, “We don’t know anything about it. You know who should be arrested? The attorney general should be arrested for what she’s doing.”

New York State Attorney General Letitia James addressed reporters after Wednesday’s trial proceedings, emphasizing that the evidence submitted in the courtroom clearly demonstrated Trump’s inflation of his financial interests’ statements for personal gain. She stated, “Not the attacks on me or anyone will change that.”

This marked Trump’s second consecutive day attending the trial, where he and his company are accused of grossly overvaluing their assets in financial statements to secure loans and insurance policies at better rates than warranted.

Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

The trial’s intensity increased on Wednesday, with Trump’s attorney accusing a witness of lying and the attorney general’s office accusing them of “witness intimidation.”

During the cross-examination of Doug Larson, a former executive at the commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, Kevin Wallace of the AG’s office complained that Trump was being too loud. The judge intervened, requesting everyone to maintain silence during witness testimony.

Larson’s testimony revealed that Trump Organization officials had used his appraisals of Trump properties in their financial statements but had employed a lower cap rate to inflate the properties’ values. Larson also clarified that he had “never” worked for the Trump Organization, considering their use of his work without his knowledge as “inappropriate” and their figures as “inaccurate.”

On Wednesday, Trump’s attorneys presented emails indicating that Larson had discussed some valuations with Jeff McConney, a former senior vice president at Trump’s company. Trump attorney Lazaro Fields questioned Larson’s truthfulness, leading to an objection from the attorney general’s office.

Another Trump lawyer, Christopher Kise, accused Larson of perjury and expressed concern for Larson’s legal situation. The AG’s office countered, asserting that the emails were related to different years than those Larson had testified about the previous day, characterizing Trump’s lawyers’ actions as “witness intimidation.”

Trump appeared pleased with the exchange and likened it to the TV show “Perry Mason,” claiming that “the government lied” and concealed information.

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