Donald Trump is reportedly “unfazed” by his fraud trial.
The former US president, 77, is facing charges of inflating his wealth on financial statements given to banks to secure loans – and last week faced off against his former “fixer” lawyer Michael Cohen in his ongoing Manhattan trial, but friends of the scandal-hit property tycoon insist he is untroubled by his legal woes.
An insider told Page Six: “Trump’s in Trump Tower, unfazed and happy. He’s acting like nothing’s wrong. He’s projecting strength and seems on top of the world, not nervous or anxious.”
The public seems equally “unfazed”, as a new poll shows New Yorkers have been giving President Joe Biden only a nine-point edge over Trump in the 2024 presidential race.
Last week saw Trump storm out of his $250million fraud trial after a series of legal woes that included him being slapped with a $10,000 fine.
The former ‘Apprentice’ judge was involved in the courtroom drama on 25 October after one of his lawyers finished questioning his lawyer-turned-rival Michael Cohen, 57, who testified Trump didn’t direct him to inflate the value of his properties.
Trump had accused the judge and the person “sitting alongside him” of being “very partisan” in remarks he made to press earlier in the day.
Judge Arthur Engoron found the comments violated a gag order against speaking about court staff during his civil trial for business fraud.
In an unscheduled hearing, Judge Engoran also called the former president to the stand and asked Mr Trump to explain who he was referring to when he told the press that Mr Engoron was a “very partisan judge, with a person who is very partisan sitting alongside him, perhaps even much more partisan than he is”.
Trump replied: “You and Cohen.”
The judge asked if he was “sure” he didn’t mean his clerk, with the scandal-hit former US leader responding: “Yes, I’m sure.”
Before allowing Trump off the stand, the judge said: “As the trier of fact, I find the witness is not credible.”
The exchange in New York happened in the midst of a civil trial that could see Trump lose some of his most iconic real-estate assets.
Judge Engoron had previously ruled the Trump Organization committed fraud, and the current trial is focused on additional charges linked to the accusation.
Before he was fined, Trump was already under a gag order from Mr Engoron because he had posted disparaging comments about the same clerk in early October.
When he had discovered the comments were still up on Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign website several days later, Mr Engoron had issued a $5,000 fine against the ex-president.