Mary Trump suggested embarrassment is at the root of Donald Trump’s abrupt departure from his civil fraud trial.
“He showed up in New York voluntarily because he knew how important this fraud trial is not only to his reputation but to the core of his own beliefs about who he is,” the former president’s niece, a psychologist and author, said in her Substack newsletter on Thursday.
“He left because he knew nothing he did—the pouting, the angry stares, the media hits—was working.”
“That plus the humiliation of falling off the Forbes 400 were too much for him to take,” she added.
Forbes magazine announced on Tuesday that Trump had fallen off its annual ranking of the nation’s 400 wealthiest people.
The blow came a day after Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, attended the first day of trial in New York over his business dealings.
Trump left in the middle of the third day of proceedings on Wednesday, telling reporters he would rather be campaigning than “stuck here.”
He was not required to be present at the trial.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in the state.
Ahead of trial, the judge overseeing the case ruled that Trump had defrauded financial institutions by exaggerating his wealth to obtain better loan and insurance terms.
The judge ordered some of his companies dissolved as punishment.
That resolved the key claim in James’ case. The trial will determine if Trump is liable for the other six claims in the suit, as well as any penalties.
Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the case a “witch hunt.” He told reporters he showed up for three days to show “how corrupt it is.”
A number of former Trump insiders have speculated that the case is particularly irksome for the ex-president as it hits both his wallet and his image as a businessman.