Home Australia Trump trial live updates: Hush Money trial returns after courtroom erupted as Judge Merchan scolded witness Robert Costello for ‘staring’ at him

Trump trial live updates: Hush Money trial returns after courtroom erupted as Judge Merchan scolded witness Robert Costello for ‘staring’ at him

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Witness Robert Costello is reprimanded by Judge Juan Merchan, who momentarily left the courtroom during the criminal trial of former US President Donald Trump accused of falsifying business records to hide money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in state court of Manhattan in New York. City, USA, May 20, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

DailyMail.com’s Nick Allen recaps the confrontation between Bob Costello and Judge Juan Merchan from inside the courtroom

There were surprising scenes at Donald Trump’s hush money trial on Monday and, for the first time, it had little to do with the former president.

The drama began to unfold when Trump’s lawyer, Emile Bove, questioned a defense witness, Bob Costello, and Judge Juan Merchan repeatedly upheld the prosecution’s objections.

Before Bove finished his questions, there was a quiet “objection” from the prosecutor, followed a split second later by a “sustain” from the judge.

After another ‘sharp’, Costello became exasperated at not being able to respond and said ‘God…’

The judge, a few feet away, tilted his head toward Costello and said in an irritated voice: ‘Excuse me?… Excuse me?… What did you say?’

Costello didn’t respond and looked away, appearing to mutter something inaudible.

At another point, when the judge again said “he held” Costello, the former prosecutor himself continued saying “hit him…” to the jury.

The judge, increasingly annoyed, asked Bove to stop questioning him and went straight to Costello.

In a frank voice, he said, “I want to discuss proper decorum in my courtroom…

‘If you don’t like my decision, don’t say ‘God’. You don’t look at me sideways and you don’t roll your eyes.

“You don’t say ‘watch it’ because I’m the only one who can get testimony in my court.”

After the brief conference, Costello appeared to momentarily glance at Judge Merchan, who then exploded with fury.

Looking incredulous, Judge Merchan said to Costello: “Are you staring at me right now?”

Costello remained silent and looked away.

Judge Juan Merchán, left, criticizes witness Robert Costello for his "decorum" in the Manhattan Criminal Courtroom on Monday, May 20, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

After a brief pause, the judge loudly ordered, “Clear the courtroom!”

The court officials were momentarily stunned and no one moved.

The officers then began yelling at the audience and pressuring them to “clear the room” and led them out.

The journalists objected, but were led to a hallway next to protective barriers.

People in Trump’s entourage, including his son Eric, were allowed to remain inside the courthouse.

When the media returned after several minutes, Costello was still on the stand but his face was a little redder.

One could only assume that he had received a severe reprimand from the clearly angry judge.

Judge Merchan, now full master of his own courtroom, continued to entertain objections, and Costello carefully avoided looking at him or showing any disagreement.

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