Trump arrives for civil fraud trial closing arguments – hours after judge faced ‘bomb threat’

US

The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud case has been subject to a bomb threat, Sky News’s US partner network NBC News reports.

Nassau County police responded to the threat at Arthur Engoron’s home on Thursday, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled today, with a bomb squad called to the judge’s home on Thursday morning.

It is not known if he was home at the time.

On Wednesday, the former president’s lawyer, Chris Kise, asked the judge if Mr Trump could speak during the closing arguments – a request he denied.

Court spokesman Al Baker said security will be increased after a threat was made against the judge, without giving further details.

The state of New York seeks nearly $370m (£291m) in penalties from Mr Trump for overstating his net worth to banks.

Mr Engoron will issue a verdict at a later date without a jury, after he found Mr Trump liable for fraud in September – leaving the trial to focus on how much money he should surrender as ill-gotten gains.

The lawsuit, brought forward by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges Mr Trump and his associates inflated the value of his assets by billions of dollars to secure better loan terms.

Mr Trump, who has decried the case as a political with hunt, has denied wrongdoing.

The frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination has complained the trial interferes with his campaign, though he uses court appearances to rally support with inflammatory remarks to news cameras.

But Mr Engoron denied his attempt to make his own closing argument after Mr Trump refused to accept rules barring him from making a “campaign speech”.

The lawsuit is just one of many legal troubles Mr Trump faces as he campaigns to challenge President Joe Biden in the November 2024 election.

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