The Manhattan judge overseeing the civil case against Donald Trump and the Trump Organization last week called out the former president’s attorneys for wasting the court’s time during their 2-day cross-examination of former accountant Donald Bender, the New York Post reported.
During their cross-examination, Trump’s defense team continually hammered Bender on how frequently he answered questions with some form of “I don’t remember” or “I don’t know.”
As the Trump team repeatedly pressed Bender on his non-answers, the former accountant grew increasingly frustrated.
At one point, defense attorney Jesus Suarez noted that Bender had given the “I don’t remember” responses 89 times.
During his questioning, Trump’s attorney Clifford Robert echoed Suarez’s line of questioning, asking Bender if he had given an “I don’t remember” response more than 90 times, prompting Bender to say he believed that he had.
At one point on Wednesday, Judge Arthur Engoron lost his patience with the defense, telling Trump’s attorneys that they were unnecessarily drawing out Bender’s testimony.
Trump’s other attorney, Alina Habba, argued that the defense had been unable to get “one answer” from Bender.
After a brief back-and-forth between Engoron and the defense, the judge finally had enough. He slammed his hand down and said, “This is ridiculous!” Engoron told the defense to stop wasting the court’s time.
Bender’s cross-examination wrapped up last Thursday.
This week, another defendant opted for the “I don’t recall” route as well.
The Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg responded to questioning with some variation of “I don’t recall” dozens of times during his testimony on Tuesday, CBS News reported.
Weisselberg, who along with Donald Trump, two of his sons, and the Trump Organization, is accused of defrauding financial institutions by providing fraudulent financial statements to obtain loans.
In his testimony, Weisselberg said he did not recall speaking with his co-defendants or the company attorney about the documents. He said he didn’t remember the phrase “estimated current value” nor did he recall the details of “generally accepted accounting principles” since he is not a CPA.