Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Daniel Chaitin.
The judge presiding over Donald Trump's civil fraud trial in New York City got blasted by the former president's allies for flashing a smile in front of a camera before the proceeding got underway on Monday.
News networks aired scenes from the courtroom showing Trump sitting with his lawyers and, a few rows behind them, New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the $250 million lawsuit over allegations of business fraud against Trump, members of his family, and the Trump Organization.
When the camera panned to the front of the room, Judge Arthur Engoron appeared to take notice. He smiled, took off his glasses, and smiled again. Upon looking to the side, the judge shrugged before he returned his gaze to the camera and smiled once more. Trump previously spoke out against the charges ahead of his court appearance, slamming Engoron as a "rogue judge."
The smile enraged Trump's defenders and others who expressed their dismay on social media in reaction to clips of the video.
"I've never seen anything more inappropriate in my life,"
Jesse Binnall, an attorney for Trump but not in the New York fraud case, said during an appearance on Newsmax.
"A show trial. Literally,"
said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "We have a serious crisis in our judicial system. So many demons,"
said political commentator Julie Kelly. "The judge in Trump's case smiles for his closeup. What an absolute clown show,"
said the X account for the popular Citizen Free Press website.
"Leftism as an ideology rejects the entire system of objective law upon which Western Civ stands,"
said Stephen Miller, a leading adviser in Trump's White House. "To the Left, there are only allies or enemies. And the more they judge someone the latter, the more they will weaponize the 'justice' system against them. This is our brave new world."
The judge did not allow a camera to be in the room for the opening statements that followed, as had been requested by media outlets, leaving some in shock that one got footage from the room before the trial began.
During a break in the trial, Trump caught up with reporters and castigated the judge, who last week found Trump liable for fraud.
"We're going to be here for months with a judge that already made up his mind. It's ridiculous,"
Trump said. "He's a Democrat judge. He's an operative. And it's ridiculous, Other than that, things went very well."
Trump is facing multiple civil and criminal cases as he runs a 2024 campaign seeking another term in the White House. He has broadly denied any wrongdoing.