Fire At NYC Courthouse Hosting Donald Trump's Trial

By Jason Hall

December 14, 2023

New York State Supreme Court building in Lower Manhattan showing the words 'The True Administration of Justice' on its facade in Manhattan.
Photo: Getty Images

A fire was reported at the courthouse hosting the $250 million civil fraud trial against former President Donald Trump and his company hours after testimony ended on Wednesday (December 13), NBC News reports.

More than a dozen minor injuries were reported in relation to the incident at the New York State Supreme Court building in lower Manhattan. Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over Trump's case, was among the people evacuated from the building, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed, though the judge's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, according to NBC News. A person who is not a court employee started the fire by lighting papers and then dousing them with an extinguisher, Office of Court Administration spokesperson Al Baker confirmed.

The suspect was arrested in relation to the incident, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Local authorities haven't detailed a potential motive in relation to the incident, which is still under investigation.

Testimony in Trump's $250 million civil fraud trial concluded hours prior on Wednesday. The former president was absent from the courthouse proceedings, having announced that he didn't plan to go back on the witness stand on his Truth Social account Sunday (December 10).

“I have already testified to everything & have nothing more to say other than this is a complete & total election interference (Biden campaign!) witch hunt” so “I will not be testifying on Monday,” Trump wrote in all-caps via NBC News.

Trump was scheduled to testify on Monday (December 11) as one of the final defense witnesses. The case, which has lasted two months, enters its final week of testimony and the former president was expected to tout the success of his company and fire back at claims made by New York Attorney General Letitia James' claims that he overvalued his properties and net work in financial statements, which he then used to obtain favorable loans from banks that he'd be unable to acquire.

Trump, who was previously called as a witness by James' team on November 6, gave a similar, combative response targeting James, who he referred to as a "political hack" and Judge Engoron as a "very hostile judge."

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