The Judge Who Dealt a Huge Financial Blow to Trump

During closing arguments at Donald J. Trump’s civil fraud trial, Arthur F. Engoron, the judge who has overseen the case for more than three years, made what might have been an unusual comment for any other jurist.

Justice Engoron, a lean 74-year-old with an unruly mop of white hair, acknowledged that his control of the courtroom had not been perfect.

He had allowed repetitive objections from Mr. Trump’s lawyers, despite protests by the New York attorney general’s office, which brought the case. He had often ignored Mr. Trump’s violations of courtroom decorum. At one point, the judge recalled, he had even let a witness answer his mobile phone while on the stand.

Despite all that, he warned the lawyers, “I don’t want you to think I’m a pushover.”

No one is likely to think so now. Justice Engoron on Friday ruled against the former president, finding that he had orchestrated a conspiracy to inflate his net worth, penalizing him $355 million and instituting a three-year ban from running his family business. Despite his absurdist humor and good cheer, the judge showed himself in the end to be a very serious man.

It was the culmination of what was surely one of the more intense periods of Justice Engoron’s professional life. During the trial, he contended with repeated anonymous antisemitic attacks on his family and on his law clerk, Allison Greenfield, and with threats to his own life. Last month, he was roused early one morning to find that a bomb squad had been dispatched to his Long Island home to respond to a report that turned out to be a hoax.

But despite the attacks, and his own clear desire for harmonious proceedings, Justice Engoron consistently came down hard on the former president. On Friday, he continued his streak of lacerating rulings.

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