Jan 10, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Judge denies Trump's bid to deliver own closing argument at civil fraud trial

Donald Trump speaks to guests during a rally at Clinton Middle School on January 06

Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Iowaon Jan. 6. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The New York judge overseeing President Trump's civil fraud trial rejected a bid by the former president on Wednesday to deliver his own closing argument in the trial.

Why it matters: The trial, stemming from a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James last year, will determine whether Trump must pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and his future ability to do business in the state.

State of play: Trump's lawyers indicated that Trump wished to deliver part of the closing argument, alongside members of his legal team, AP reported.

  • Closing arguments are slated to take place on Thursday.

Context: New York Judge Arthur Engoron initially approved the plan with the caveat that Trump would have to limit his remarks to the "relevant, material facts that are in evidence," according to a recent email exchange from Engoron that was filed in court Wednesday.

  • The judge said Trump could not introduce new evidence, "deliver a campaign speech," or attack himself, his staff or others involved in the case.
  • After Trump's attorney said the former president would not agree to the preconditions because he considered them unfair, Engoron withdrew his permission, per AP.

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment regarding the matter.

The big picture: The lawsuit from James accuses Trump and members of his family of financial fraud.

Go deeper: Where Trump's civil fraud trial stands

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