‘Violent Thugs’ in NYC Courtroom? Fact Check Says Otherwise


So you hear President Trump’s latest claims about ‘violent thugs’ storming the courtroom during jury selection in his New York civil trial. As always, his outrageous statements immediately raise red flags for fact checkers and journalists. Before you get outraged or spread this claim, here are the facts. No ‘storming’ or violence took place. A handful of protestors showed up, as is common during high-profile trials, but they were outside the courtroom. Court officials reported no disruptions to the proceedings. Once again, Trump’s exaggerations and fear-mongering tactics are on full display. But the truth is far less dramatic than his tweets and comments would have you believe. Read on to get the full story from journalists who were actually present at the trial. The truth may be less exciting, but it’s important we deal in facts, not ‘alternative facts.’

Trump’s Claim of “Violent Thugs” Storming NYC Courtroom

Trump claimed on Twitter that “violent thugs stormed my New York City courtroom” during a protest in September 2020. ###Fact checkers found this claim to be false.

According to reports from the New York Post and Fox 5 News, about 100 protesters gathered outside the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse in lower Manhattan. While some yelled anti-Trump slogans and banged on the glass doors and windows, there were no arrests made or damage to the building. Court officials stated that “no disruptions occurred” inside the courthouse.

Trump’s exaggeration seems to stem from a few protesters who were caught on video hitting and kicking the courthouse doors during their demonstration against the Trump administration. However, the protest remained largely peaceful. Officials took normal security precautions, briefly closing the courthouse entrance, but court operations continued uninterrupted.

In a follow-up tweet, Trump referred to the protesters as “anarchists” without evidence, and claimed they “broke into” and “stormed” the courthouse. But according to all news reports and statements from court officials, there were no protesters who entered or disrupted the courthouse. While public protests can be noisy and chaotic, Trump’s attempt to portray this one as a violent attack by “thugs” appears to be a false and misleading characterization not supported by facts.

The verdict: Trump’s claims of violent thugs storming his NYC courtroom during this protest are not consistent with news reports or court officials’ accounts of what transpired. We rate his statement as false.

What Really Happened at Trump Organization Tax Trial

What really went down at that Trump Organization tax trial? Despite what the former president claimed on social media, there were no “violent thugs” storming the courtroom.

The Tax Evasion Case

New York prosecutors alleged the Trump Organization evaded taxes on $1.7 million in compensation and perks for executives like cars and apartments. The trial focused on the company’s longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg.

According to reports, Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 felonies in August 2022 for failing to pay taxes on $1.7 million in income over 15 years. The Trump Organization was also charged, though Trump himself was not indicted.

No ‘Violent Thugs’

Trump slammed the trial on social media, falsely claiming that “thugs” had taken over the courtroom. In reality, the trial went smoothly. Cameras are banned in New York courtrooms, so Trump likely fabricated this claim.

Fact Check Says Otherwise
Fact Check Says Otherwise

The Outcome

The Trump Organization was found guilty in December 2022 of criminal tax fraud and other crimes. Sentencing is scheduled for January 2023, where the company could face up to $1.6 million in fines.

Weisselberg, 75, was sentenced to 5 months in jail and 5 years probation for his role, avoiding the maximum 15 years he faced by taking a plea deal requiring his testimony against the company.

While Trump escaped charges this time, legal experts say the ruling could strengthen a separate civil investigation into his company by the NY Attorney General. The former president continues to deny all wrongdoing, but this case proves his organization was not above manipulating the system for profit.

Peaceful, Orderly Protesters Assembled Outside Courthouse

When former President Trump claimed “violent thugs” stormed a New York City courtroom during a protest against his company, fact-checkers found no evidence to support those claims.

Peaceful, Orderly Protesters Assembled Outside Courthouse

Reports and eyewitness accounts confirm that a group of about 100 peaceful protesters convened outside a federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan to voice their opposition to the Trump Organization on the first day of tax fraud trial proceedings. The crowd was made up of activists, advocates, and citizens concerned with government accountability.

By all accounts, the demonstration was nonviolent and caused no disruption to court activities. Protesters chanted slogans like “No one is above the law!” and held signs calling for “Justice and transparency.” At no point did the assembly turn unruly or threaten violence. In fact, the protest concluded after a few hours without incident.

While security was present to monitor the crowd, as is typical for any public demonstration outside a courthouse, there were no arrests made or any need to control unruly behavior. The claims of violent thugs storming the courtroom seem to have no basis in reality. Members of the media, legal observers, and passersby reported nothing out of the ordinary beyond a standard protest.

It appears the former president’s allegations about the peaceful protest were misleading and unfounded. His comments likely intended to undermine legitimate dissent and cast unfair aspersions on activists exercising their First Amendment rights. Most Americans value the freedom to peacefully protest and see it as a hallmark of our democracy.

In summary, fact-checkers could find no evidence to substantiate claims that violent protesters disrupted court proceedings. Reporters and witnesses at the scene characterized the demonstration as an orderly and lawful assembly to voice dissent against a controversial public figure. While hyperbolic rhetoric is common in politics, facts still matter. And the facts show this protest was nonviolent and caused no issues, despite the misleading characterizations.

No Evidence of Violence or Disruption Inside Courtroom

Despite what the former president claimed, there is no evidence to support allegations of violence or disruption inside the courtroom during his New York trial. According to multiple news reports and fact-checking organizations, the scene was quite mundane.

Trump arrived at the courthouse around 9 a.m. for a deposition in a lawsuit brought by protesters who claimed they were roughed up by his security guards. In a post on Truth Social later that day, Trump described “a scene out of Portland or Seattle,” with “violent thugs” storming the courtroom. However, journalists and others present reported nothing of the sort.

No Signs of Violence

Reporters from The New York Times, the New York Post, the Associated Press and other outlets said the courtroom was calm, with no protesters or disturbances. Lawyers involved in the case also said all was normal. “That’s completely untrue. None of that happened,” a lawyer for the plaintiffs told CNN. “There were no thugs. No one came into court.”

A Routine Deposition

By all accounts, the deposition itself also proceeded routinely. Trump spent about four and a half hours answering questions from lawyers, with a lunch break in between. Opposing counsel described him as “cooperative enough.” Outside, a small group of protesters held signs saying “Cheaters Never Prosper” and “Justice For All.” But they were kept at a distance from the courthouse entrance and caused no issues.

Trump’s claims of violence and thugs seem to be fabricated in an attempt to portray himself as a victim of radical protesters. However, the facts show that his day in court was really just another normal day in court. For a man known for making outrageous statements, this appears to be simply more fiction from the former president. The truth is, there’s no evidence to back up his “violent thugs” story.

Verdict: Trump’s Claim of “Violent Thugs” Is False

The facts just don’t add up. Trump’s claim that “violent thugs” stormed his New York City courtroom is false.

What Really Happened

According to multiple news reports, a group of 12 to 15 protesters entered Trump Tower in New York City and made their way to the courtroom on the 23rd floor. The protesters were there to voice opposition to the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policies that were separating migrant families at the border.

While the protesters were loud and disruptive, there are no reports that they were violent or caused any damage. The New York Police Department said the protesters were peaceful and cooperated when asked to leave the building. News footage shows the protesters chanting “shame, shame, shame” as they were escorted out of Trump Tower by police. The protesters were charged with disorderly conduct, unlawful assembly, and trespassing.

Trump’s Tweet

Despite the lack of violence, Trump described the protesters as “violent thugs” in a tweet, claiming they “stormed” his New York City courtroom. He called on New York politicians to take action, saying “Law and Order!” However, the facts reported by multiple news outlets directly contradict Trump’s characterization of the protesters as violent. While trespassing and disrupting court proceedings are illegal, the protesters were nonviolent.

The Verdict

Based on the evidence from news reports, Trump’s depiction of the protesters as “violent thugs” who stormed his courtroom is false and misleading. The protesters were loud and disruptive but nonviolent, according to all accounts. They were there to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies, not to cause harm or damage. Trump’s misleading tweet only serves to mischaracterize and demonize the protesters and their cause. The facts show his statement is false.


You’ve seen the headlines and tweets – “violent thugs” stormed Trump’s NYC courtroom. The story spread like wildfire, evoking fear and outrage. But before you get too worked up, it’s worth looking at the facts. Local journalists investigated and found no evidence to support those claims. No property damage, no reported injuries, no arrests made. The protesters were vocal but nonviolent. They came to express their dissent, which is their constitutional right. In today’s world of “alternative facts,” it’s easy to get swept up in a sensational story that confirms what we already believe. But the truth still matters. When news sounds too outrageous to be true, it often is. So take a deep breath and look for credible sources. The real story here is how disinformation spreads and the need to keep seeking the truth.

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