28m ago / 4:46 PM EDT
Court adjourns for the day, but Trump and James stay behind
The judge adjourned the trial for the day at 4:30 p.m., but he asked the lawyers and AG Letitia James to stay behind.
Trump was still in the courtroom as well, but reporters and spectators were cleared out. The judge did not give an explanation for the private discussions.
24m ago / 4:49 PM EDT
Trump lawyer suggests ex-accountant was responsible for financial statements
During cross-examination this afternoon, Trump lawyer Jesus Suarez tried to pin the blame for inflated financial statements on Trump’s former accountant, Donald Bender.
Suarez noted in his questioning that Bender was the only CPA — certified public accountant — compiling the documents, and that others involved like former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg didn’t have that level of expertise.
Bender, who said he made $1 million to $2 million a year, said in response to questioning that he was the one responsible for making sure everything was submitted correctly. But he countered that the company should have provided him with proper financial data, including appraisals.
Earlier today, under questioning by the AG’s office, Bender said that he’d compiled the financial statements based solely on information he received from Trump and his company.
48m ago / 4:26 PM EDT
Judge scolds Trump for posting disparaging remarks about staffer
When court resumed at 3 p.m. ET, Engoron noted that earlier today, Trump made a social media post about his law clerk that was also emailed to millions of people.
Engoron said that he ordered the post to be taken down and that personal attacks on his staff were unacceptable and would not be tolerated. He noted that he had warned the parties about such attacks yesterday. He finished: “Consider this a gag order on all parties with respect to posting or publicly speaking about any member of my staff.”
He also said that violations of his order would lead to swift, meaningful sanctions.
Note also that the picture in question — which featured the staffer with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — was originally on an Instagram page she maintained in connection with a campaign for a civil court judgeship. That page is now private.
2h ago / 3:04 PM EDT
Trump appears to delete post attacking judge’s law clerk
Amid all the delays, a post from Trump on his Truth Social platform attacking one of the judge’s law clerks appears to have been removed.
2h ago / 2:57 PM EDT
Afternoon testimony delayed
The trial was supposed to resume at 2:15 p.m. ET, but now will not start until 3 p.m. No clear reason was given for the delay.
Trump has entered and exited the courtroom numerous times since it took a break for lunch at about 12:50. James, who’d attended the trial in the morning, made a brief appearance in the courtroom at around 2:30 and immediately walked back out.
Trump’s lawyers were expected to cross-examine his former accountant when they resume.
3h ago / 2:32 PM EDT
Trump enters courtroom and then leaves again
Trump re-entered the courtroom shortly after 2 p.m. ET, and exited again around 10 minutes later. Asked if he would return, he answered “We’ll be back.”
He re-entered about 15 minutes later.
3h ago / 2:33 PM EDT
Trump campaign bashes judge during the break
While the former president was slamming James and Engoron’s law clerk during the lunch break, his campaign sent out an email criticizing the judge.
Engoron is a “far-left Democrat” who says he knows “more about the value of the business empire Of President Trump than his banks, business partners, accountants, employees, and insurers,” the email said.
The email also pointed to excerpts of articles from far-right websites that have been critical of the judge.
3h ago / 1:49 PM EDT
Trump slams judge’s law clerk during court break
The former president blasted Engoron’s law clerk on social media shortly before the lunch break, and then amplified the attack in brief remarks to reporters afterward.
Trump had posted on Truth Social a different user’s Instagram post showing Engoron’s law clerk at an event where she posed with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The Instagram post questioned why she was “palling around” with Schumer.
Trump’s post went further, referring to the clerk as “Schumer’s girlfriend” and said she “is running this case against me. How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately.”
Trump told reporters outside the courtroom soon after: “You saw what was just put out about Schumer and the principal clerk? That is disgraceful.”
4h ago / 1:41 PM EDT
Trump re-enters courtroom, ‘likely’ to stay for rest of trial day
The former president, who was expected to leave the courthouse during the lunch break in the trial, re-entered the courtroom around 1:30 p.m. ET. He is “likely” to watch the trial for the rest of the day, two aides told NBC News.
It’s unclear what led to Trump’s decision, but that would mean he’ll be able to watch at least some of his team’s cross-examination of Donald Bender.
Trump appeared to be agitated during some of Bender’s first day of testimony yesterday, at times shaking his head and whispering comments to lawyers Chris Kise and Alina Habba.