The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial, Arthur Engoron, started with what he described as a short opening statement of his own.
The trial is expected to run until December 22, the Friday before Christmas, he said.
Engoron then described the history of fraud from common law to the modern era. He highlighted the issues at hand in the case, noted what has already been decided — he issued a surprise ruling last week that found Trump and his co-defendants are liable for “persistent and repeated” fraud — and explained why he will make the ultimate decisions, not a jury.
“I promise to do my best, despite my lame attempts at humor,” he said. “I take my job very seriously and I know the parties in this case do likewise.”
Engoron said that the less he has to say during the trial, the better. He expects to just have to say, “Let’s take a 10 minute break,” “sustained,” and “overruled” while the trial is ongoing, Engoron said.