Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, chosen by New York Attorney General Letitia James to preside over a civil fraud case involving former President Donald Trump, recently announced that the former president will not be allowed to deliver a closing argument at trial.
Engoron broke the news to Trump attorney Christopher Kise in an email on Jan. 10, 2024, where he assumed that the former president would not agree to the “lawful limits” and, as a result, “he will not be speaking in court tomorrow.”
Kise initially notified Engoron in an email from Jan. 4, 2024, that Trump intended to argue his case during his closing statement.
In the left’s efforts to silence Trump, a lawyer within Letitia’s office expressed their opposition to letting the former president have a closing statement, arguing that he “is prone to giving irrelevant speeches, lacks self-control, is evasive in responding to questions and has repeatedly violated court orders for which he has been sanctioned.”
Engoron previously said he would allow Trump to present his closing statement only if the former president agreed “to limit his subjects to what is permissible in a counsel’s closing argument, that is, commentary on the relevant, material facts that are in evidence, and application of the relevant law to those facts.”
In response, Kise sent Engoron an email stating, “I cannot agree *(nor would I recommend he do so) to the proposed precondition and prior restraints.”
Kise and the judge went back and forth on the topic, with the attorney eventually requesting that Engoron postpone closing arguments following the death of former First Lady Melania Trump’s mother, Amalija Knavs, on Jan. 9, 2024.
The judge denied Kise’s plea, arguing that a delay would disrupt court staff. He reiterated that the former president could not speak during closing arguments unless he agreed to terms, leading Kise to respond, “This is very unfair your honor.”
President Trump’s attorney asked to postpone closing arguments a couple of days because of the death of First Lady @MELANIATRUMP’s mother so that he can spend time with his wife. Judge Engoron rejected that request.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) January 10, 2024
Minutes before noon on Jan. 10, 2024, Engoron defiantly told Kise that he would not debate such an issue again, writing in an email, “Take it or leave it. Now or never.”
“You have until noon, seven minutes from now. I WILL NOT GRANT ANY FURTHER EXTENSIONS,” the judge concluded.