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US: Judge blocks Donald Trump from closing arguments in fraud trial

US: Judge blocks Donald Trump from closing arguments in fraud trial

Former US President Donald Trump has not been allowed to make a closing argument in his civil trial over fraud allegations. Trump's lawyers objected to the instructions from New York Judge Arthur Engron. The court subsequently withdrew the permission.

The judge had required Trump to limit his petition to the topics that lawyers address in their pleadings: facts, evidence and application of law. He will not allow campaign speech or attacks on judges, lawyers and judicial staff.

Trump's lawyer, Christopher Kiss, said the rules were unfair. His client disagreed with them. “You don't allow President Trump, who has been unfairly insulted and vilified by an out-of-control, politically motivated attorney general, to talk about things that need to be talked about,” he complained to Engoron by email.

However, the judge announced that he would not engage in further discussion. He thinks Trump doesn't follow the rules and therefore isn't allowed to speak.

Millions of dollars in fines

Trump has been accused of deliberately overstating the amount of his assets in financial statements in order to obtain loans and contracts for his real estate empire. Trump's sons Eric and Donald Jr. are also said to be involved. Trump could be fined tens of millions of dollars. He also faces a ban from doing business in New York.

Engoron had already fined Trump $15,000 (about 13,700 euros) in October for reporting on a court employee's personal life.

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