In a recent development, a judge has turned down the request from Trump's legal team for an immediate verdict in the Trump Organization civil trial, despite Michael Cohen's testimony.
The civil trial is an offshoot of New York Attorney General Letitia James' prolonged probe into the Trump Organization and the business dealings of the Trump family. The trial has seen Trump and Cohen, once close allies, sharing the courtroom for two consecutive days.
On his second day testifying, Cohen, who once declared he'd "take a bullet" for Trump, was questioned about the former president's financial statements.
Trump's lawyer, Clifford Roberts, directly inquired if Trump had ever asked him to inflate the numbers. Cohen's straightforward response was, "Correct."
Following this, Roberts, after consulting with Trump and other defense attorneys, requested an immediate verdict based on Cohen's testimony. However, Judge Arthur Engoron promptly denied the request.
The lawsuit from James alleges that Trump and his company provided misleading information to banks and other entities about the value of his assets.
She has accused the Trump family and their associates of committing "numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation" in their financial statements. Furthermore, she claims that Trump exaggerated his net worth by billions and that his children assisted him in this endeavor.
Judge Engoron, overseeing the non-jury trial, previously determined that Trump and the Trump Organization had committed fraud during the establishment of his real estate empire.
This was done by overestimating his assets and inflating his net worth on documents used for deals and financing, Fox News reported.
Trump, on the other hand, has consistently denied any wrongdoing. He has often stated that his assets were undervalued and that his financial statements came with disclaimers, urging banks to assess the figures.
Colleen Faherty, an attorney from the New York attorney general’s office, gave Cohen a chance to elaborate on his previous statement.
Cohen mentioned that while Trump never explicitly told him to "inflate the numbers," he understood what Trump desired due to his manner of speaking, likening it to a "mob boss."
Despite Cohen's clarifications, the defense attorneys once again sought a verdict. Judge Engoron's response was firm, stating that the case would not be dismissed and that there was ample evidence to consider.
Trump, after the proceedings, labeled Cohen a "proven liar" and asserted that he had lied during his testimony. He emphasized that Cohen had previously been found guilty of various offenses and served a prison sentence. Trump expressed his belief that the case should conclude, accusing the court of bias against him.
Interestingly, during the trial, Judge Engoron asked Trump to testify. The discussion shifted to statements Trump had made to the media earlier, hinting at bias in the courtroom.
When questioned about who he was referring to, Trump indicated Judge Engoron and Cohen. However, Engoron believed Trump was alluding to his law clerk, whom Trump had criticized in the past.
Engoron imposed a fine on Trump for violating a partial gag order, which had been established after Trump made claims about Engoron's law clerk on his social media platform.
Trump's lawyers contested the fine, deeming the presence of a law clerk on the bench alongside the judge as "inappropriate."
The civil trial is set to continue, with uncertainty surrounding Trump's attendance. This courtroom drama follows Trump's decision to drop his lawsuit against Cohen earlier this month, though he has expressed intentions to refile once he overcomes the ongoing "witch hunts" against him.