Trump trial: Judge reprimands Trump witness Robert Costello over whining

  • By Madeline Halbert
  • BBC News, in court in New York

video title, Trump trial: Cohen claims he stole, a witness angers judge

A judge in Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial on Monday allowed the courtroom to reprimand a witness and associate of the former president.

Robert Costello, a lawyer who once provided legal advice to Mr Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, is the second witness called by Mr Trump’s legal team.

Mr Costello has been an outspoken critic of the case against Mr Trump, who pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with the hush-payments.

On Monday, Mr Costello took his frustrations to the witness stand.

BBC News reporters cover the historic first criminal trial of a former US president in a Manhattan courtroom. You can find their updates and analysis on the BBC News website and app, as well as on TV, radio and podcasts.

“Jeez,” Mr Costello sighed into the microphone as Judge Juan Mercon repeatedly cut off his answers, facing objections from lawyers.

“forgive me?” The judge immediately responded in a frustrated tone.

From that point on, things only escalated as Mr. Costello then appeared to sigh through more objections and long sidebars between the lawyers and the judge.

Judge Merchan, apparently reaching his limit, asked the jurors to leave the room so he could discuss “the proper decorum in my courtroom” with Mr Costello.

With jurors out of sight, Judge Merchan began sentencing the former federal prosecutor who served as a back channel for Cohen, connecting him to Mr. Trump and the White House in 2018.

“You don’t say ‘jeez’. Then if you don’t like my rule, don’t look away, don’t roll your eyes,” the witness said.

Mr Costello berated Judge Merson, prompting another furious response from the judge.

“Are you staring at me?” He barked shortly.

“Clear the courtroom,” Judge Merchan said, prompting court officials to yell at dozens of members of the public and reporters to leave immediately.

Some journalists resisted being kicked out of the public proceedings, but eventually complied as officials ushered people out of the room.

Reporters stood stunned in the hallway for several minutes before officers allowed everyone back into the room.

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