Newsmax's outlandish coverage of the Trump fraud trial reaches a new low with alleged shirtless judge pics

Shameless coverage scandalizes purported workout photos, and warns that the “witch hunt” from “detestable woman” Letitia James could “have ripple effects” across the economy

A Newsmax screenshot of guest host Lidia Curanaj grimacing next to video of Judge Arthur Engoron. Chyron reads "Trump derangement syndrome is destroying America"

Newsmax is not known for shying away from support of “one of the greatest presidents this country has ever had,” as one host described alleged felon Donald J. Trump. That support includes the network’s coverage of Trump’s civil trial for fraud in New York, which has featured compliments for a Trump son's hair, a semi-regular soapbox for a Trump family member, and vicious attacks against Judge Arthur Engoron and his family over unverified photos and memes.

Like much of its pro-Trump coverage, Newsmax’s increasingly scummy, personal lines of attack seem geared to turn yet another thing that in theory should be a negative for Trump in the primary — this time, decades of alleged fraud — into a positive. To that end, the network has employed a familiar and false refrain, asserting that investors were not just paid but “overpaid, since the assets were inflated,” so “there were no victims,” just the perennial “witch hunt.” But, Newsmax warns, hinting at revenge, “the last laugh will be on all of them” once Trump returns to office.

On November 9, guest host Lidia Curanaj began The Chris Salcedo Show by celebrating that Trump “has truly damaged people on the left by proving all of his critics wrong, by being one of the greatest presidents this country has ever had.” 

Citing a social media post featuring anti-Trump memes as an example of these “damaged” people, Curanaj scandalously reported that “the author of this tweet [is] reportedly the wife of Judge Engoron. Yes! The same Democrat activist judge that is now trying to dismantle President Trump’s substantial financial empire,” before going on to note that she has “refuted that it’s her X account.”

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Citation From the November 9, 2023, edition of Newsmax's The Chris Salcedo Show

She also attacked Engoron himself, calling him, “someone whose discernment is questionable, to say the least.” 

“This guy is just so smug,” Curanaj complained, referencing a video of Engoron, “the way he smiles there, mugging for the cameras as if he’s the star of some kind of 90s sitcom.”

Then, after apologizing “if you just had some lunch or dinner,” Curanaj brought up the rumor that Judge Engoron “posted two nude torso photos of himself” online, commenting “thank god that camera was blocking the lower area.” 

The unsubstantiated claim comes from a Gateway Pundit post that was soon shared by Trump on Truth Social; the photos are purportedly workout progress photos someone posted to Engoron’s high school alumni newsletter online, but it has not been confirmed that it’s him in the pictures. 

With a “censored” bar covering the male figure’s nipples, Curanaj attempted to shame Engoron: “If there was a shirtless photo of me I would lose my job, right? Because Newsmax would say, ‘What kind of judgment does Lidia have to do something like that?’ And he just recently did it. This is not something he did many years ago.”

After also ripping into New York Attorney General Letitia James, Curanaj groused that “the last laugh will be on all of them when President Trump becomes the president of the United States again.” 

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Citation From the November 9, 2023, edition of Newsmax's The Chris Salcedo Show

The network's over-the-top coverage of the civil fraud trial has been on display for weeks. On November 1, prime-time host Rob Schmitt read a brief report about Donald Trump Jr’s testimony, pausing to note that his “hair looks good” in the low-angle shot Newsmax used. When the picture changed to Judge Engoron, he quipped “that one, not so much,” before denouncing “one of the stupidest cases New York has ever brought, and believe me this state has brought some stupid cases,” noting that other New York real estate developers called it “outrageous.”

The entire time, the report shared half a screen with an advertisement for gold-backed IRA retirement accounts, telling viewers to text the promotional code “NEWSMAX” to a six-digit phone number.

“So that tells you a lot,” Schmitt said of the developers’ criticism.

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Citation From the November 1, 2023, edition of Newsmax's Rob Schmitt Tonight

Newsmax has also continued to platform Trump’s daughter-in-law, and co-defendant Eric Trump’s wife, Lara Trump. Though Trump’s appearances and guest hosting spots are often dedicated to attacking President Joe Biden and pushing corruption allegations against his family, she also occasionally discusses her own family’s fraud trial.

“My husband and my brother-in-law were both in a New York courtroom today,” Trump complained while guest hosting Rob Schmitt Tonight on November 2. Parroting a real estate lawyer quoted by the New York Post, Trump insisted: “There were no victims. No one lost money. No one got hurt. Everyone got paid in full — even overpaid since the assets were inflated.”

“For this detestable woman,” Trump said of James, “it’s not about the law. It’s all about getting Trump.” 

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Citation From the November 2, 2023, edition of Newsmax's Rob Schmitt Tonight

“This witch hunt isn’t just unethical,” Trump warned, “this honestly could have ripple effects across other multi-billion dollar industries.” Her guest, right-wing attorney Jordan Sekulow, agreed, suggesting there was a deeper level of betrayal in the fact that the lawsuit came in New York, “after everything the Trump family has done for the city of New York.”