Obama-era acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said Donald Trump “covered a lot of ground” with his attacks on lawyers, New York Attorney General Letitia James and Judge Arthur Engoron while taking the stand in his civil fraud trial in New York on Monday.
“But for all of his attacks, there was one key thing missing from Trump’s testimony, which is any semblance of a colorable defense, and that is Donald Trump through and through,” Katyal told MSNBC’s Charles Coleman.
“It’s bloviating, it’s a distraction and the like, and that’s why you say this kind of crazy, the antics and behavior,” Katyal added.
Katyal said Trump was “not acting like any litigant I have ever seen in any courtroom, let alone someone who’s a former high-ranking government official.”
Trump was “rude, he was obnoxious, he was trying to provoke the judge,” he continued. “I have represented murderers and white-collar criminals. I have never seen anyone behave like this in a courtroom. They respect the court and the process.”
The former president, however, was “successful today by his metric because we’re talking more about his behavior and his temper tantrums than we are about the fact that the guy committed serious fraud. So, it’s a distraction technique, and in some ways, it’s working. It obviously won’t work in the court of law, though.”