Police responded to a bomb threat at the residence of Judge Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing the civil fraud trial against former President Donald Trump, early Thursday morning on Long Island, as informed by a source with direct knowledge of the situation to NBC News.
The Nassau County bomb squad arrived at Judge Engoron's home to investigate the threat, though it remains unknown if the judge was present at the time. This alarming incident occurred just hours before the scheduled closing arguments in Trump's trial, which are expected to continue as planned.
The day before the threat, a heated email discussion occurred between Judge Engoron and Trump's attorney, Chris Kise, regarding a request for Trump to speak during the trial's closing arguments. Judge Engoron ultimately denied this request.
Due to the bomb threat, there was a noticeable delay in admitting reporters and attorneys into the courthouse for the closing arguments.
Outside the courthouse, protestors gathered, voicing their dissent behind a banner reading, “No dictators in the USA."
Trump had expressed his desire to participate in the closing arguments. However, Judge Engoron declined this request in a tense email exchange with Trump's legal team on Wednesday. The judge's decision came after Trump refused to commit to sticking strictly to case facts and refraining from personal attacks.
Trump's attorney, Chris Kise, expressed dissatisfaction in an email to Judge Engoron, arguing that the former president, who felt maligned by a politically driven Attorney General, should be allowed to address certain issues.
Judge Engoron's response to Kise was firm and ultimatum-like, granting a seven-minute window to comply with his terms. Kise's failure to respond led Engoron to conclude that Trump would not testify.
Despite not testifying, Trump is expected to be present for the closing arguments in Engoron's court. Trump, who attended a town hall in Iowa the night before, expressed his reluctance to return to New York for the trial's conclusion, deeming it a "rigged and unfair trial" in a post on his Truth Social platform.