Former President Donald Trump fired off a salvo at the judge in his civil fraud trial Thursday after Judge Arthur Engoron relented and allowed Trump to speak.
Earlier, Engoron had said he would not allow Trump to talk on a day reserved for closing arguments in the case, in which New York State Attorney General Letitia James has accused Trump, his sons, and the businesses they operate of inflating the worth of their enterprises and properties.
“I did nothing wrong. They should pay me for what we’ve had to go through,” he said.
At one point in his comments, Trump murmured to Engoron, “I know you have your agenda.”
“Mr. Kise, please control your client,” Engoron said, speaking to Christopher Kise, one of Trump’s attorneys.
Trump’s speech began after a warning from the judge.
“If I let you speak, do you promise to just stick to the law and the facts?” Engoron asked Trump, according to the New York Post.
“This case goes outside of just the facts,” Trump said in opening his remarks. “The facts are that the financial statements were perfect, the banks were as happy as can be.”
“This is not a consumer fraud. What happened here, sir, is a fraud on me,” he said.
“We have a situation where I’m an innocent man,” Trump said. “I’ve been persecuted.”
Trump also called the trial a “political witch hunt.”
Engoron held up his phone at one point and told Trump, “One minute,” signaling that Trump needed to wrap it up.
“You can’t listen for more than one minute?” The New York Times quoted Trump as saying.
Trump later held an informal news conference at which he said James has “serious Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
During the session, he said President Joe Biden can’t “string two sentences together.”
The Post noted that James was his prime target during the huddle with the media.
“This is just an attorney general who hates Donald Trump,” he said.
“This is an out-of-control attorney general. She’s totally out of control,” Trump said. “These loans were all good. The banks were extremely happy with me. They still are.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.