President Donald Trump will not receive a trial by jury for his $250 million civil fraud case. In brief remarks to the press aired by Fox News earlier this week, Trump said that his team was “not entitled to a jury,” calling the matter “unfair.”
“As you know we’re not entitled to a jury—which is pretty unusual in the United States of America,” Trump said during an interview with reporters, captured by Fox News, following the first day of his trial on Monday.
Trump will instead receive a bench trial, in which the judge listens to the evidence presented and decides the verdict without the use of a jury.
Per Axios, New York Democrat District Attorney Letitia James also requested a trial without jury earlier in the summer.
Thus, Judge Arthur Engoron, who has already repeatedly ruled against Trump, will decide the trial’s outcome. Per RSBN, the judge has also claimed that he had powers to overrule a jury’s decision.
Engoron had also imposed a gag order against the 45th president for his reported criticisms of one of the court staffers who had been photographed standing with New York Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Trump complained of the judge in a post to Truth Social on Monday, calling the case “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT.”
“The respected New York Law Journal writes that the “Dissolution Ordered in ‘People of the State of New York v. Trump’ Appears Unwarranted. Wow, that’s BIG,” Trump posted to his Truth Social on Wednesday.
“The whole trial is a Democrat inspired HOAX, just like Russia, Russia, Russia, the SPYING on my campaign, the 51 Fake ‘Intelligence’ Agents, the FISA forgeries, and everything else,” Trump added. “THIS IS A TOTAL WITCH HUNT, WHERE I AM NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO HAVE A JURY. The corrupt A.G., Letitia James, convinced the Judge that Mar-a-Lago is only worth $18,000,000 when, in fact, it may be worth 50 to 100 times that amount. Based on their fake lowball number, the Judge ruled that I committed Fraud. NO, CORRUPT LETITIA COMMITTED FRAUD. Her papers are the Fraudulent ones, not mine, and she doesn’t have a DISCLAIMER CLAUSE. This case should never have been brought!!!”
In a separate post, Trump again criticized the lack of a jury trial, calling the investigation of him “Election Interference.”
“Just arrived at the Witch Hunt Trial taking place in the very badly failing (so sadly!) State of New York, where people and companies are fleeing by the thousands,” Trump wrote on Wednesday. “Corrupt Attorney General, Letitia James, is a big reason for this. Statute 63(12) is meant to be used for Consumer Fraud. It has never been used before on a “case” such as this, especially since I did absolutely nothing wrong.”
He continued, “I borrowed money, paid it back, in full, and got sued, years later, with a trial RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF MY CAMPAIGN. I am not even entitled, under any circumstances, to a JURY. This Witch Hunt cannot be allowed to continue. It is Election Interference and the start of Communism right here in America!”
Although Trump has criticized the court over their refusal to grant him a jury trial, several media outlets reported that his legal team had not requested this trial.
Outlets, such as Business Insider, have claimed the 45th president’s attorneys “didn’t correctly fill out court paperwork” to request a jury. However, Alina Habba, a Trump lawyer, denied these claims, saying that there was “no box to check.”
“No, we didn’t have that. That’s not how this works,” Habba said in an interview with Newsmax’s Eric Bolling on Monday.
She continued, “They brought it under Section 63(12), which is a very narrow, not appropriately used section of the law, which is for consumer protection. It’s not this, and that is why we’re sitting here in front of a judge dealing with values of property, where real estate, anybody with real estate brains, anybody with real estate experience, even laymen, can understand that a tax assessment is not the same as the market value of your property, period.”