New York Attorney General Letitia James said Wednesday that Donald Trump’s appearances at his business fraud trial were merely a “political stunt” but declared that justice would be served and that she would not be “bullied” by the former president.
Trump has spent the last three days in court as part of a $250 million lawsuit James filed against Trump, two of his sons and his business. The attorney general alleged Trump engaged in years of fraud by inflating the value of his assets to secure favorable loans and insurance deals. The former president has denied all wrongdoing and has regularly taken to social media to blast James, calling her “corrupt” and saying that the trial is rigged against him.
His appearances in court have been voluntary, but the former president has unleashed a series of bombastic claims that his presence in the courtroom has kept him from the campaign trail in his bid to secure the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
“I’d rather be right now in Iowa,” he told reporters Wednesday. “I’d rather be in New Hampshire or South Carolina or Ohio or a lot of other places.”
But James said she believed the former president was making use of the courtroom to raise campaign funds and stoke the flames of his supporter base.
“This case was brought simply because it was a case where individuals have engaged in a pattern and practice of fraud,” she said. “And I will not sit idly by and allow anyone to subvert the law. And lastly, I will not be bullied. The Donald Trump show is over. This was nothing more than a political stunt. A fundraising stop.”
James: I will not be bullied, and so Mr. Trump is no longer here. The Donald Trump show is over. This was nothing more than a political stunt. pic.twitter.com/N5D5GKlmzI
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 4, 2023
The former president has spent each day lashing out at those involved in the case, including James and a law clerk who works for the judge presiding over the case. Judge Arthur Engoron issued a limited gag order on Trump earlier this week after he used his Truth Social account to disparage the clerk, suggesting, without evidence, that she was romantically involved with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
“Schumer’s girlfriend ... is running this case against me,” Trump wrote in the post, using the clerk’s name but misspelling it. “How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!”
Engoron said he had warned Trump just a day earlier about his posts, adding “personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I won’t tolerate them in any circumstances.”
James added Wednesday that Trump’s comments about her and others were “offensive” and “void of any facts.”
“What they were were comments that unfortunately fomented violence. Comments that I would describe as race-baiting,” James said. “Comments, unfortunately, that speak to the very bottom of our humanity.”
Still, Trump continued his attacks against the attorney general on Wednesday.