Donald Trump was threatened with expulsion from his Manhattan civil trial yesterday after he repeatedly ignored a warning to keep quiet.
Trump was repeatedly heard making remarks while writer E Jean Carroll testified that he destroyed her reputation after she accused him of sexual abuse.
In an initial warning, Judge Lewis A Kaplan told the former president that his right to be present at the trial would be revoked if he remained disruptive.
But Ms Carroll’s lawyer said Trump could still be heard making remarks to his lawyers, including “it is a witch hunt” and “it really is a con job”.
‘You can’t control yourself’
Judge Kaplan said: “Mr Trump, I hope I don’t have to consider excluding you from the trial… I understand you’re probably very eager for me to do that.”
“I would love it,” the Republican presidential frontrunner replied.
“I know you would. You just can’t control yourself in these circumstances, apparently,” Judge Kaplan responded.
“You can’t either,” Trump muttered.
After the hearing, the former president told reporters that Judge Kaplan was “a nasty judge” and a “Trump-hating guy”.
The judge also denied a request from Trump’s lawyers that he step aside from the case involving Ms Carroll, a longtime Elle magazine advice columnist.
Earlier, Trump could be seen slamming his hand on the defence table when the judge again refused his lawyer’s request that the trial be suspended on Thursday so he could attend his mother-in-law’s funeral in Florida.
Trump makes most of legal battles after Iowa win
Trump, who scored a substantial win in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, has made his various legal fights part of his campaign to once again take on Democrat Joe Biden as the Republican nominee for president.
He attended jury selection on Tuesday, then jetted off to a New Hampshire rally before returning to court the following day and repeating the cycle with another event on Wednesday night.
Ms Carroll was the first witness in a Manhattan federal court trial to determine what damages, if any, Trump owes her for remarks he made in June 2019 as he vehemently denied ever attacking her or knowing her.
A jury last year already found that Trump sexually abused her and then defamed her, awarding the writer $5m in damages.
But the jury found that Ms Carroll hadn’t proven her claim that Trump raped her.
She is now seeking $10m in compensatory damages and millions more in punitive damages.
Ms Carroll accused Trump of forcing himself on her in a luxury department store dressing room in 1996.
She alleges he publicly disputed her honesty, her motives and her sanity after she told the story publicly in a 2019 memoir.
Trump, 77, asserts that nothing happened between him and Ms Carroll, 80, and that he never met her.
A 1987 party photo of them and their then spouses “doesn’t count” because it was a momentary greeting, he claims.