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Could Trump’s stonewalling court strategy work in other trials?

(NewsNation) — When it comes to Donald Trump’s legal challenges, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti says the former president’s inability to take responsibility for his actions will hurt him.

“Trump makes his attorneys’ lives so much harder than they need to,” Mariotti told NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo. “Because then you’re not able to adopt a sophisticated strategy. You’re not able to take nuanced positions.”

A New York judge Friday ordered Donald Trump and his companies to pay $355 million in penalties after finding they inflated his personal wealth and business holdings.

In his opinion, Judge Arthur Engoron wrote Trump and his company were “likely to continue their fraudulent ways” without the financial penalties and other controls he imposed.

Trump and his co-defendants, Engoron said, “failed to accept responsibility,” and experts who testified on his behalf “simply denied reality.”

“This is a venial sin, not a mortal sin,” Engoron, a Democrat, said. “They did not rob a bank at gunpoint. Donald Trump is not Bernard Madoff. Yet, defendants are incapable of admitting the error of their ways.”

Cuomo said he didn’t like the remarks the judge made.

“I’ve never been impressed by this case,” he said. “I think it’s good for Trump that it came first, and I think it’s bad for society because it looks like you’re prosecuting political opponents.”

High-profile trial attorney Ken Turkel said he’s never seen such a coordinated attack on a politician.

“It plays into this idea that everything is geared against him,” Turkel said. “And that just inflames the base and gets some more support.”

However, Mariotti said that what might help Trump politically could hurt him during a trial.

“He wants to deny, deny, deny, fight, fight, fight,” Mariotti said. “It may work from the perspective of a political primary, it may work for his approval scores, it might help him raise money to pay some of his legal bills.”

“But from a perspective of a courtroom,” Mariotti said, some of his behavior has been foolish.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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