Trump Returns to NY Fraud Trial He’s Not Required to Attend, Complains It’s a Waste of His Time

Donald Trump returned to the scene of his New York fraud trial on Tuesday and in a turn of events you may find incredibly difficult to believe, he had some grievances to air.

The ex-president kicked things off by complaining to reporters that he has better places to be, and that the trial—which centers on accusations that he overinflated his assets to obtain more favorable loan terms—is keeping him from the 2024 campaign trail. “I should be in Iowa now. I should be in New Hampshire now,” he said outside the courtroom. As Reuters notes, “Trump, however, chose to be at the trial which he is not required to attend.”

Not surprisingly, the former guy used his time in front of the cameras to rage against a limited gag order that was placed on him on Monday by a judge in the federal election case against him. “My speech has been taken away from me. I’m a candidate that’s running for office, and I’m not allowed to speak. This is a railroading,” he said. Trump, of course, is free to speak on virtually any topic he wants, outside of attacking special counsel Jack Smith, court staff, and witnesses in the election-interference case. Judge Tanya Chutkan made clear in her order that he can continue to malign Joe Biden and the Justice Department in general, which he did on Tuesday when he “lashed out at the Biden administration and repeated his claim that the case amounted to a political witchhunt,” according to Reuters.

Unsurprisingly, Trump saved the majority of his ire for New York attorney general Letitia James—and in particular her accusation that he vastly overinflated the value of Mar-a-Lago. (The Palm Beach County tax assessor appraised the property as being worth anywhere from $18 million to $27 million between 2011 and 2021; the ex-president’s financial statements put the value between $400 million and $600 million.)

“She’s defrauding the public with this trial,” Trump raged to reporters. “She said that Mar-a-Lago, she convinced the judge that Mar-a-Lago was worth, in Palm Beach, Florida, most expensive land in the world. I guess and the most expensive houses definitely in the world. And Mar-a-Lago, the biggest house, the most spectacular place in all of Florida, was worth $18 million when it was worth approximately 50, close to 100 times that amount.”

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