After a contentious beginning to his fraud trial, Donald Trump makes a comeback in a New York courtroom

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After a contentious beginning to his fraud trial, Donald Trump makes a comeback in a New York courtroom
Following an intense first day of opening arguments, attorneys in Donald Trump's corporate fraud trial in New York will begin the more laborious process of sifting through years' worth of his financial records on Tuesday. The trial is likely to last several weeks as they argue over the question of whether these documents are evidence of fraud.

It is anticipated that the accountant who spent years preparing Trump's financial statements will return to the witness stand for a second day.

Trump declared he will return to the defense table after attending the civil trial for the entire day on Monday in an irate manner.

"See you Tuesday morning in court!" Trump shared something on his Truth Social page.

The Republican former president is charged by Democratic Attorney General of New York State Letitia James of misleading banks, insurers, and other parties for years by providing them with documents that misrepresented the value of his assets. This litigation has culminated in the trial.

James received an early victory last week when Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump had engaged in fraud by inflating the size of his penthouse at Donald Trump Tower, claiming the value of his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago was as high as $739 million, and placing inflated values on office buildings, golf courses, and other assets.

The non-jury trial is about the six cases that are still pending in the lawsuit and the potential fines that Trump may have to pay. James wants to stop Trump from conducting business in New York and for $250 million. A few of Trump's limited liability firms should be disbanded as a penalty, the judge has already decided.

Attorney general Kevin Wallace informed the judge on the first day of the trial that Trump and his business had falsified financial documents “year after year after year” to make him appear wealthier than he actually was.

According to Trump's attorneys, the remarks accurately depicted the value of distinctive luxury homes, which are further enhanced by their affiliation with the business mogul.

That isn't deception. That is real estate, according to attorney Alina Habba.

Following his decision to abstain from a prior trial wherein his company and a top executive were found guilty of tax fraud, Trump spent hours watching Monday's opening statements in court. He repeatedly emerged to tell reporters that the trial was "a sham" meant to harm his chances of winning the presidency in 2024.

When he was leaving court on Monday, Trump said to reporters, "I'd love to be campaigning instead of doing this."

Throughout the day, Trump, who was obviously furious, called James a "disgrace to our country" and attacked Engoron as a "rogue judge."

"This judge ought to be barred from the bench. This judge ought to be removed from office. There are others who believe that this judge ought to face criminal charges for his actions. It's a disgrace that he's meddling in an election, Trump declared.

However, Trump claimed to have won the case as he was leaving the court, citing remarks he thought Engoron had made in support of the defense's argument that the majority of the lawsuit's claims are barred by the state's statute of limitations.

After retired Mazars LLP partner Donald Bender, the first witness, spoke extensively on Trump's 2011 financial statement, Engoron questioned if it was worth his time to testify, given that any fraud in the document would have occurred after the statute of limitations.

Wallace said he would connect it to a more recent loan arrangement, but Trump viewed the judge's comments as a "outstanding" step forward and declared on Truth Social that, in the end, it was a "good day at trial."

Bender's evidence was scheduled to continue on Tuesday. It's anticipated that the trial will go until December.

This story was written by Associated Press journalists Karen Matthews, Jake Offenhartz, and Jill Colvin.