The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York City, Judge Arthur Engoron, received criticism and backlash from Trump’s allies and supporters after he was seen smiling for a camera before the proceedings began. The incident occurred as news networks aired scenes from the courtroom, with Trump, his lawyers, and New York Attorney General Letitia James present.
When the camera panned to the front of the room and appeared to capture Judge Engoron smiling and shrugging, it elicited strong reactions from Trump’s defenders and others on social media. Some accused the judge of inappropriate behavior, while others labeled the trial a “show trial” and criticized what they perceived as a crisis in the judicial system.
Trump’s supporters voiced their displeasure with the judge’s conduct, with some characterizing it as evidence of a biased and partisan legal process. Trump himself criticized Judge Engoron during a break in the trial, describing him as a “Democrat judge” and an “operative” who had already made up his mind in the case.
The trial is one of several legal challenges Trump is facing as he continues to be a prominent figure in American politics, including his potential run for the presidency in 2024. Throughout these legal battles, Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing. The trial in New York is particularly significant, with potential financial penalties of $250 million at stake.