As Trump NY Trial Begins, Critics Say Weaponized Justice System Is Proof of a 'Political Revolution'
Share This article
Former President Donald Trump took his seat at the defendant's table as a $250 million civil fraud trial began Monday in New York.
The civil case filed by New York's Attorney General Letitia James has charged Trump and his company with inflating the value of his properties to get better deals.
Trump was in the courtroom Monday, sitting between his attorneys.
Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump committed fraud by inflating his net worth by more than $2 million. Now, Trump could be forced to give up several of his limited liability companies.
Engoron, a Democrat, and a lifelong donor to the Democratic Party, has ruled repeatedly against the former president in the three years he's been presiding over James' lawsuit. He's forced Trump to sit for a deposition, held him in contempt, and fined him $110,000.
The judge faced social media backlash Monday after cameras captured him taking off his glasses, smiling and seemingly posing for the cameras. Conservatives reacted in outrage that the New York justice system is being weaponized, like the DOJ, against its political enemies.
In a post on X, Article III Project founder and president Mike Davis said, "This New York City judge is a partisan Democrat clown. Disgraceful."
"Just smiling and laughing as they turn our country into a third-world banana republic," State Freedom Caucus Network Comms Director Greg Price wrote in his own post.
During the trial's first day, Kevin Wallace, a lawyer for the attorney general, told the judge that Trump and his company had lied "year after year after year" in his financial statements to make him look richer than he really was.
Trump's lawyers said the statements were legitimate representations of the worth of unique luxury properties, made even more valuable because of their association with Trump.
"That is not fraud. That is real estate," lawyer Alina Habba said.
The attorney general and the former president also made their case to the media.
"No matter how powerful you are. No matter how much money you think you may have. No one is above the law. The law is both powerful and fragile, and today in court, we will prove our case," James said.
"It's a scam. It's a sham. There was no crime. The crime was against me," Trump told reporters. "This trial could have been done years ago but they waited until I was right in the middle of my campaign. The same with other trials and indictments. It's all run by DOJ which is corrupt."
Trump returned to the courtroom on Tuesday. The trial is expected to last into December.
Tucker Carlson, who has not always been a fan of Trump, came to his defense in this case. He explained on his show on X, "Trump stands accused of inflating the value of collateral used to secure loans. Loans that he has already paid back with interest. In other words, there is no injured party in this case."
"The biggest banks in the world assessed the risk, and they made a profit. Not a single person was defrauded. For this non-crime, Trump and his children are in the process of losing their homes and their businesses," he said.
Carlson and his guest said what's really at play is something much bigger.
Political analyst Victor Davis Hansen told Carlson, "They (the left) feel that they're at a stage now where their agenda does not appeal to 51% of the people, and they either have to bring in new constituencies or change the system, the entire system of which we are enculturated to, to retain power. And that's what they are willing to do."
"We're very naive, Tucker. We don't realize we're in the middle of a revolution," he continued. "We think we're still playing with the same sidelines and parameters. It's not. Everything is under negotiation, whether it's the Senate filibuster, the Electoral College, new states coming in, the size of the Supreme Court, voting IDs, gender, the foundational data of the United States, pronoun usage."
"From the trivial to the existential, we're in the middle of a cultural, economic, political revolution," Hansen said. "And I think we've got to wake up."
Share This article