Shortly after a defense expert delivered potentially exonerating testimony in court on Thursday, December 7, 2023, former President Donald Trump emerged to voice a grim assessment of his chances under the watch of Justice Arthur Engoron.
ABC News reports that despite forensic accountant Eli Bartov stating unequivocally on the stand that he found no evidence of financial misconduct or fraud after analyzing Trump’s company records, Trump himself remained downbeat when speaking to reporters.
“He reviewed fully the documents that this horrendous attorney general has put forward, and he found absolutely no fraud, accounting fraud of any kind,” Trump said, referring to Bartov’s sworn statements contradicting NY AG Letitia James’ allegations.
But in the next breath, Trump appeared to wave a white flag regarding the ultimate verdict in Engoron’s courtroom.
“We will probably go forward and I’m sure nothing will have any bearing on what this judge does,” he declared flatly to the gathered press.
This stark admission highlights Trump’s belief that Engoron intends to rule against him regardless of testimony in the landmark civil trial.
It presents a striking contrast to the defiant former president’s habitual claims that he is the victim of bias and hatred when facing legal scrutiny.
Instead, Trump’s tone conveyed resignation that even expert analysis absolving his business means little under Engoron’s stewardship of the high-profile case.
Critics counter that Trump’s about-face reflects less a change of strategy than a new ploy to position himself as an underdog for political gain.
Trump’s atypical surrender in claiming Engoron cannot be swayed has raised eyebrows on all sides.
And the possibility remains, despite Trump’s proclaimed expectations otherwise, that even this judge may find ignoring formal testimony exonerating his core target difficult – especially given the prominence and ramifications of a case with immense stakes for Trump’s financial future.