Trump fraud trial judge ‘sent envelope containing suspicious white powder’

The New York judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial was mailed an envelope containing “suspicious powder” – prompting an emergency response at the courthouse.

Court staff opened an envelope addressed to the judge containing a “powdery substance” at 9.30am on Wednesday, according to a statement to The Independent from a spokesperson for New York courts.

A court official at 60 Centre Street in Manhattan had opened the envelope, causing white powder to spill onto their pants, an NYPD spokesperson told The Independent.

The envelope was addressed to Justice Arthur Engoron, the man who presided over Mr Trump’s trial and handed down a $454m verdict against the former president in the case this month.

“The operations office where the letter was opened was closed and the affected staff were isolated until Emergency Services tested the powder and its preliminary testing showed it was negative for hazardous substances,” according to New York courts spokesperson Al Baker.

“Justice Engoron had no exposure to the letter or the powdery substance,” he added. “The Court remained open. The matter is under investigation by law enforcement.”

A spokesperson for NYPD said that there were no injuries and the building was not evacuated following the discovery of the powder.

Justice Arthur Engoron presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial
Justice Arthur Engoron presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial

The incident comes just one day after Donald Trump Jr, the former president’s oldest son, was also sent an envelope containing white powder.

Earlier this month, Judge Engoron ordered Mr Trump to pay $355m – plus interest – and barred him from holding top positions at any New York company for three years after he, his adult sons, Trump Organization executives and some of his entities were found liable for fraud.

Mr Trump’s lawyers launched an appeal against the hefty ruling on Monday.

Throughout the trial, the former president frequently railed against Judge Engoron on Truth Social, describing him as a “political hack”.