Maggie Haberman Recalls Moment Donald Trump Got ‘Most Visibly Irritated’ In Court

The former president appeared before a New York judge in an unsuccessful push to delay his hush money trial or dismiss the charges.
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Maggie Haberman described changes to Donald Trump’s demeanor in court on Monday amid a series of major decisions about his criminal and civil cases.

The New York Times senior political correspondent, who attended the hearing in Manhattan about Trump’s criminal hush money trial, told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins the former president was initially “more subdued” than he had been during his recent defamation and fraud civil trials, “where he was constantly scowling, shaking his head.”

She recalled, “He did do some of that, to be clear, and he did start fidgeting.”

Haberman continued, “He got most visibly irritated — and this is right before the ruling came down reducing the size of the bond — as Justice Merchan was questioning Trump’s lead lawyer, Todd Blanche, who had a rough morning with the justice.”

Judge Juan Merchan, an acting New York State Supreme Court justice, is overseeing the criminal trial regarding Trump’s alleged falsification of business records pertaining to a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Merchan reportedly grew frustrated with Trump’s attorneys Monday as they argued that the trial should be delayed or tossed out for what they claimed was prosecutorial misconduct regarding the handover of discovery documents.

Trump reportedly became more visibly irate as it appeared increasingly likely that he would not get the ruling he wanted.

“This went on and on and on for a while, and Trump was just staring at his lead lawyer as this was going on,” Haberman said, noting that it was her understanding that “Trump was directing his ire toward Merchan, not his lawyer.”

During a recess, news broke that Trump had won a reprieve in his fraud case after an appeals court reduced his bond from more than $450 million to $175 million and pushed back the deadline by 10 days.

“But then he got this reprieve, and so after that, he was entirely changed in his demeanor when he came back into the courtroom after the recess,” Haberman noted. She said his mood had changed “100%.”

She added, “He was smiling at somebody in the audience, and he sat down and became less irritated.”

But he was soon shaking his head again as the judge set his trial date for April 15.

“I don’t think this is going to become real for him until we get much closer to it,” Haberman said of the upcoming trial.

Watch her commentary below.

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