Exactly what happened in those last 15 minutes is hard to interpret through the various quotes and summaries trickling through social media and news sites, as best I can assemble it:
- It started with Amer mentioning a phone call in 2021 that had everyone at the Trump table jumping to their feet to object that the call included an attorney and discussing it would be a violation of privilege.
- Before Engoron could make a ruling on the matter, Kise started complaining about the clerk---who I can only assume had handed him a note.
- Engoron then went white hot on Kise, telling him that if he didn’t lay off the clerk, he would extend the gag order.
- Instead of backing down, Kise insisted he had a First Amendment right to attack the clerk.
- Enorgon responded that the obsession with the clerk bordered on misogynistic.
- Kise said he couldn't be a misogynist because he had a daughter.
- Habba defended Kise and said it was just that the clerk was "inappropriate" and was giving Enorgon too much advice.
- Enorgon said he could ask for all the advice he wanted, and there was no First Amendment right to place his clerk in danger.
- For one hot second, it looked like we were going to get back to the trial. Then the whole thing was done for the day.
Honestly, if this played out in the courtroom the way it filtered through the internet, it’s amazing Kise wasn’t called out for contempt on the spot.
In the morning testimony, Donald Trump Jr. simply denied any responsibility for the documents he signed or any knowledge of the numbers they contained. Ignorance is not an excuse in a corporate officer, but he certainly seems to believe it is.
Once he sat down, Eric Trump was slowly led through a path where it was demonstrated that his claims of being unaware of the existence or contents of the Trump Organization’s financial statements were clearly taken apart. Not only did Eric know of these documents, but he was also involved in their preparation. In particular, Eric was heavily involved in two projects where the value placed on Trump properties by experts and the value used in Trump’s presentation to banks were completely at odds. One of those projects involved misrepresentation of more than a quarter of a billion dollars.
Whether this is the last we’ll see of Eric on the stand is unclear after that debacle of a finish. But it seems likely he’s not done.