Let’s go straight to the tape, ladies and gentlemen:
REPORTER: Trump, how’s it going in there?
BOLDUAN: All right, so Donald Trump there making that motion, zipping his lips, not speaking, which is interesting in and of itself, given the tension that has been taking place inside that courtroom between Donald Trump saying things that the judge, in this case, thinks are out of line. He’s been on the stand for about an hour now.
BERMAN: They have been taking breaks around this time of day.
BOLDUAN: They have. That is true. They’ve been really kind of brief breaks. But since we’ve seen in the past, the past week, they take they’ve been taking some length of a break between 11 and 1130.
But you know, we don’t know the motivation of this break. But let’s get to Kaitlan Collins, who is on the courthouse steps.
COLLINS: I think this has gone about as poorly as it could potentially go. I mean, no one thought this was going to go well with Donald Trump on the stand. But the fact that they have just taken a break and they are less than an hour into this testimony and the judge has repeatedly admonished Trump and just threatened to remove him from the witness stand and said that he would draw every negative inference that he could. That’s not good.
That would essentially be Trump not appearing or taking the Fifth, because the judge’s discretion here is quite high in making the determination.
It’s the highest, actually, in making the determination of what these damages are going to look like, because at the heart of this case, what’s been decided is already known here that Trump is liable for fraud. The question is how liable and how much he is going to have to potentially pay here.
And this is threatening everything that he’s ever had, his entire real estate empire here. And you just saw Trump walk out of that courtroom. He did not speak when a reporter asked a question about how it was going in there. Instead, he just made the motion to zip his lips.
Certainly, that was not what was happening on the witness stand. That was to the incredible frustration of the judge, who was repeatedly telling Trump’s attorney, telling Trump himself, just answer the question yes or no here. And Trump was not doing that. They are now in a 15-minute break.
And I think the question is, is, how much longer Trump is going to be on that witness stand, because the judge here clearly is fed up with how he’s answering or not answering these questions.
And, Paula, I mean, I think them taking a break here is a sign that the judge is really considering or reconsidering what the rest of this day is going to look like.
As Andrew Weissman said on X/Twitter, “This is pretty darn historic: a former president called to the stand by a state attorney general in a fraud case, where the president’s companies have already been convicted criminally of tax fraud.”
Never forget, he’s already been convicted of tax fraud.
UPDATE: MSNBC’s Lisa Rubin notes Trump doesn’t know what years he was the so-called president.
State attorney Kevin Wallace asks Trump about his involvement in the 2021 statement of financial condition. Trump says his focus at that time was on China and Russia and “keeping our country safe,” drawing some laughs from the courtroom.
Wallace reminds him he wasn’t president in 2021. (Trump left office on Jan. 20, 2021.)
UPDATE 2: He went after Letitia James in court, while under oath, with some of the dumbest attacks ever.