Republican presidential forerunner Donald Trump went on heavy-handed on the prosecutors and the legal system once again calling it a fraud on the second day of his trial in New York, as he was found guilty last week of overvaluing his assets to close better deals.
Donald Trump, who is battling with a number of cases, also reiterated his claim of a political witch hunt and attempts to knock him out of the presidential race.
Trump also criticised New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is leading the case against him, calling her "very corrupt" and "grossly incompetent," before entering the chamber where he could eventually be barred from doing business in the state.
The 77-year-old has previously denounced the case as a "sham" intended to torpedo his bid for the Oval Office and Monday called James, who is African American, "racist."
The clear frontrunner in the Republican presidential primary was not required to attend the first two days in court but chose to do so, taking a seat at the defence table flanked by his lawyers.
In the courtroom were his two sons Don Jr and Eric, who are also on trial before New York Judge Arthur Engoron, whom Trump has called "deranged."
On Tuesday the Republican watched the proceedings, which are in a technical phase, often scowling or looking on wearily.
Before the trial convened for its afternoon session, Engoron reprimanded Donald Trump for an insulting social media post about a court clerk and verbally issued a gag order for all parties to not comment on his staff. Trump's post has since been removed.
Trump declined to appear in person at an earlier civil case this year, in which he was found liable for sexually abusing and defaming an American former magazine columnist, E Jean Carroll and ordered to pay her $5 million in damages.
This time, he is not letting the opportunity to publicly frame himself as a victim slip by.
The move comes as Trump faces criminal charges in four different cases, with trials set to take place in 2024 — some in the middle of the Republican Party primaries.
"I want to watch this witch hunt myself," he told reporters a day earlier.
Trump does not risk going to jail in the civil trial, but James is seeking $250 million in penalties and the removal of the former president and his sons from management of the family empire.
The state attorney general has accused Trump, his sons and other executives of colossally inflating the value of their assets in order to receive more favourable bank loans and insurance terms.
The accusations have been brushed off by Trump, who since Monday has mocked the court's $18 million valuation of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. He claims the property is worth $1.5 billion.
The civil trial also involves multiple other Trump Organization properties such as Trump Tower and the 40 Wall Street building in New York, as well as golf courses.
Engoron ruled last week that Trump, his two eldest sons and other Trump Organization executives lied to tax collectors, lenders and insurers for years in a scheme that exaggerated the value of their properties by $812 million to $2.2 billion between 2014 and 2021.
As a result, the judge revoked the state business licenses that allowed the Trump Organization to operate some of its New York properties and asked the parties to propose receivers to manage the dissolution of the companies in question.
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