Former President Donald Trump took a prominent position in the civil fraud case against him in New York, arriving last minute in court to give remarks to the press, staring down cameras once inside the courtroom, and then delivering another speech to the press when the court took a break after opening arguments.
He claimed that a June appeals court ruling was in his favor, dismissing "80 percent of the case."
"And this judge refuses to acknowledge the ruling, which is very plain for all to see," he said.
President Trump's legal team has argued in filings that this statute of limitations assigned by the appellate court effectively dismisses Ms. James's case. Ms. James argued that the fraud for which is suing is documented in filings within the statute of limitations.
"It was limited, and 80 percent of the case was won by us in the appellate division," President Trump told reporters during the break, confirming the figure with his legal counsel. "He's [the judge] got attempt for his own court system ... he refuses to even talk about it."
The New York attorney general sued President Trump last September after three years of investigation, and is seeking $250 million in penalties and to bar him and his adult sons, who are in executive roles in the Trump Organization, from holding executive business posts in New York state. In August, she requested a summary judgment from the court on one of seven claims, that President Trump had inflated his net worth by between $812 million and $2.2 billion over the years.
Last week, the judge went a step further in his pretrial summary judgment, revoking President Trump's business certificates and ordering the dissolution of the Trump Organization and its related LLCs, putting the fate of his flagship properties in limbo as the case is hashed out in court.
$18 Million?President Trump pointed to an article in The Sun, where Florida experts took issue with Justice Engoron's use of county assessor data as a stand-in for value.
John Pickett III, president of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors, told The Sun that real estate professionals "very rarely" take county estimates into account, as they are far from "the pulse of the market."
Eli Beracha, director of the school of real estate at Florida International University, told the outlet that county appraisal data is used for tax assessment, and "not the right approach" to judge value.
He added that it was "not the job of the county appraiser to assess value."
Other brokers shared much the same.
President Trump has claimed that the "winter White House" resort-turned-club is worth at least $1 billion.
He read from the article, which said that the judge's use of county appraisal data is a "misunderstanding" of how real estate works.
"He didn't misunderstand it, this is a rigged court," he claimed. "He ruled and we didn't even get a chance to testify."
"I hope my lawyers go in and I hope they fight him very hard," he said.
President Trump is at the bottom of the prosecution's witness list, so he is not expected to testify today. He had not attended another civil case against him in New York earlier this year, and has not spoken to the press inside a courthouse in any of his previous arraignments.
Asked why he has come to attend day one of his trial, he said, "Because I want to watch this witch hunt myself. I've been on their witch hunt for years, but this is now really getting dirty."