Despite Donald Trump’s courthouse complaint Monday that his bank fraud trial in New York is being decided by a judge rather than a jury, it was the former president’s own lawyers who agreed to such an arrangement, Fox News co-host Jessica Tarlov pointed out on The Five.
Trump, who voluntarily attended Monday’s proceedings, griped to the press afterwards that it is “very unfair that I don’t have a jury.” Judge Arthur Engoron ruled last week that Trump, his top executives, and his heirs were liable for “persistent and repeated fraud,” and he will now decide on the financial penalties.
Of the bench trial, Tarlov said, “it also seems that [Trump] doesn’t—and this has happened to him before—have a top-notch legal team with him.”
“He has the one lawyer who he had to pay in advance because he stiffs everybody,” she said, apparently referencing Trump’s payment last September to Chris Kise, who was initially expected to defend Trump in his Mar-a-Lago documents case.
“But it seemed that she forgot—or just, I don’t know what happened—to check the box saying that they wanted a jury trial,” Tarlov added, “and then Donald Trump is complaining to the cameras and on Truth Social that it is un-American to have a trial without a jury when his own crackpot team asks for that.”
Judge Engoron himself also noted Monday that Trump’s lawyers “never asked” for a jury trial—something that drew a matter-of-fact response from some legal experts.
Former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman, for instance, commented that doing so is “incredibly easy” because “you just check a box on a form.”