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Woman arrested after trying to get close to Trump during New York trial; she says she’s a supporter

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The woman, later identified as a court system employee, walked away after a court official told her to return to her seat. Shortly afterward, police officers escorted her out and arrested her for contempt of court for disrupting a court proceeding, court spokesman Lucian Chalfen said.

Chalfen said the woman yelled at Trump that she wanted to help him, although reporters in the courtroom did not hear her raise her voice. She was later heard screaming in the courthouse lobby as officers led her out of the building.

Outside the courtroom, the woman was seen on an NBC camera telling court officers: “You’re scaring me and I have a right to be here.” I am a U.S. citizen and am also a court employee. I’m also just here to support Donald Trump.”

She added that she “peacefully observed these proceedings” and obeyed when a court official told her not to cause “any further trouble.”

Chalfen said the woman, whose name has not been released, has been placed on administrative leave and barred from state courts while authorities investigate.

The trial continued, but with another unusual moment – ​​this one after Trump raised his hands in apparent frustration and spoke animatedly with his lawyers while real estate appraiser Doug Larson testified about his interactions with a Trump company executive.

State’s attorney Kevin Wallace asked Judge Arthur Engoron to ask the defense to “cease commenting during the witness’s testimony,” adding that the “exhortations” were audible from the witness’s side of the room. The judge then asked everyone to lower their voices, “especially if it is intended to influence the testimony.”

The case, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, accuses Trump and his company of misleading banks and insurers by providing them with wildly exaggerated claims about Trump’s net worth and asset values. Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his company committed fraud, but the lawsuit focuses on remaining allegations of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records.

James maintains that Trump’s financial statements were key to making deals and loans, and witnesses and evidence presented at trial indicated the documents were a factor.

For example, a 2015 offer to refinance a Wall Street building owned by Trump came with conditions that included Trump’s “submission of financial statements (including tax returns), according to a document presented in court Wednesday.

While the deal was in progress, the Trump Organization sent potential lender Ladder Capital paper copies of Trump’s financial statements and individual tax returns, Ladder director Jack Weisselberg testified, adding that an executive Trump had sent him a message about when to expect the documents.

“I think they were concerned about privacy and they wanted to make sure it went directly into my hands,” said Weisselberg, who is the son of former longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg .

Trump denies all of James’ allegations. He claims his assets were actually worth much more than he claimed in his statements, which were accompanied by disclaimers he presents as telling people to check the numbers themselves.

Engoron will decide the case, not a jury, because state law does not allow it in this type of trial.

As Trump voluntarily attended the trial for a second straight day — his fifth overall — his lawyers worked to counter the state’s claims that his top business aides played games to inflate the value of its properties and improve its results.

In a series of questions, Trump attorney Lazaro Fields sought to establish that Larson had, at one point, fallen $114 million short of the Wall Street office building’s projected 2015 value. Larson said “the values ​​weren’t wrong – that’s what we knew at the time.”

Trump raised his hands during the exchange.

Larson had said Tuesday that he never consulted or authorized former Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney to cite him as an outside expert in the valuation spreadsheets he used to create the financial statements. of Trump.

Fields on Wednesday accused Larson of lying, pointing to a decade-old email exchange between McConney and the assessor.

That sparked an angry exchange between the defense and state parties, with Trump lawyer Christopher Kise suggesting Larson could risk perjury and that he should be advised of his rights against self-incrimination. State’s attorney Colleen Faherty called Kise’s comments “witness intimidation.”

Ultimately, Engoron allowed Larson to come back and answer the question without legal warning. Larson said he didn’t remember the email.

Asked again if he understood that McConney had sought his advice in conducting evaluations, a weary Larson replied, “That’s what it seems.”

During a court hearing, Trump denounced that “the government lied.”

“They have not revealed all the evidence that makes me completely innocent of everything they say,” added Trump, who has repeatedly framed the case as part of a political attack on James and other Democrats who want to prevent him from returning to the country. White House.

James said outside the courtroom that “none of his behaviors, which can be described as performative, will change what happens in the courtroom.”

“I will not give in. I won’t give up. I will only serve justice and enforce the law,” she said.

Engoron, a Democrat, issued a limited order of silence barring participants in the case from disparaging members of his staff. The order came after Trump slandered the judge’s law clerk on social media on the second day of the trial.

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Cnn

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