NY attorney general: ‘I will not be bullied’
New York attorney general Letitia James stood by the prosecution’s work after a contentious day with Trump in court.
“At the end of the day, the documentary evidence demonstrated the fact he falsely inflated his assets to basically enrich himself and his family,” she said.
She said the former president chose to “engage in distractions” while on the stand.
“I will not be bullied,” James said.
Trump testimony summary
When Donald Trump’s time on the witness stand at 60 Centre Street came to a close Monday afternoon, one motif dominated the proceedings.
Over and over again, Trump tried to make himself the victim in this civil fraud case against him--railing against state attorney general Letitia James, judge Arthur Engoron, and “democrat lawyers,” as well as “election interference.” All the while, Trump insisted that he was more than wealthy enough for his contested statements of net worth to be accurate.
Here are some key moments from the afternoon session of Trump’s meandering, combative, and self-aggrandizing testimony.
Trump, who faces criminal charges for alleged election meddling, decried the trial as “election interference” during one of his testy digressions. Trump got onto the topic of election chicanery by saying “this case is a disgrace.” He then said that James was more concerned about sitting in court despite “everybody being killed on the streets of New York.” Then came Trump’s mention of the 2024 race. “We sit here all day–-it’s election interference, because you want to keep me in the courthouse!”
Trump very much took issue with any suggestion that his wealth was not as he claimed. According to James’ suit, Trump secured favorable loan and insurance terms by puffing up the value of his assets, including real estate. When Wallace noted that several loan agreements required he maintain a $2.5bn net worth, Trump said: “I could have given them a few assets which were worth more than $2.5 bn.” Trump also wanted to make clear he was liquid. “I’ve had a lot of cash for a long time.
The ex-president also feigned ignorance about details of financial transactions. He said, for example, that a loan for his project in Chicago was paid off recently, but couldn’t recall when exactly. Wallace asked him: “Are you aware that the Trump Chicago loan was paid off last week?” Trump said, “I heard it was…I don’t know if it was last week. I know it was recently.” He claimed that son Eric Trump made the call to pay off the loan early.
Trump exited the courtroom and defended the valuation of Mar-a-Lago, his Florida golf club.
“They had no idea what the numbers were when they said 18m for Mar-a-Lago,” Trump said. “And it’s 50 to 100 times that amount by any estimation.”
Trump calls for case to be 'immediately dismissed' after leaving courtroom
After the trial proceedings concluded, Trump spoke briefly to reporters outside the courtroom.
“I think it’s a very sad day for America,” Trump said.
“This is a case that should’ve never been brought and it’s a case that should be immediately dismissed.”
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Trump has just left the courtroom. Proceedings will resume on Wednesday with Ivanka Trump’s testimony.
The state’s case against Trump is nearing its end. Ivanka Trump will take the stand on Wednesday; she is the state’s final witness. (There are no proceedings tomorrow as election day is a court holiday. )
At some point following Ivanka Trump, the defense will start their case. Kise, the Trump lawyer, said they expect their case will wrap by 15 December.
Trump testimony ends in civil fraud trial
Wallace just concluded his questioning of Trump. The former president’s attorneys are not cross-examining him.
Trump calls civil trial 'election interference'
Donald Trump, who faces election meddling charges in Georgia, called Letitia James’ civil trial “election interference” while invoking the bogeyman of urban crime.
”I think this case is a disgrace.”
“Many people are leaving New York because [of] exactly this kind of thinking,” he said. He griped about “everybody being killed on the streets of New York” while James was “sitting here” in court.
“We sit here all day–-it’s election interference, because you want to keep me in the courthouse!”
Trump then said “I want a jury.”
“She sued me under a statute that doesn’t allow it’s a jury,” he continued, saying shortly thereafter, “It’s an unfair witch hunt.”
Regarding Trump’s complaint about a jury, Axios notes that James did request a bench trial, but his team never requested a jury trial. If Trump’s team wanted a jury trial, Engoron would have been required to weigh their request.
During Trump’s testimony this afternoon, there have been times when he appeared as concerned about defending his ego as he did fighting James’ fraud lawsuit. Indeed, Wallace was asking Trump about his net worth; the ex-president chaffed at the suggestion that he wasn’t as rich as professed.
Trump didn’t just maintain a net worth of $2.5bn, as required by several loan agreements, he insisted. “I could have given them a few assets which were worth more than $2.5 bn.”
Asked about requirements that Trump maintain a certain amount of liquid assets, Trump said it was “not because of me--because of other people, they always wanted to make sure the cash was substantial.”
“I’ve had a lot of cash for a long time.”
And, in another element of his defense, Trump said the loan was “paid off in full, with no problem, and the bank was thrilled. They got all their money back. There was no victim.”
“It was a very successful loan, as opposed to other people who don’t do successful loans,” he continued.
Asked about one of the loans at issue, Trump said “the loan is long since gone.”
“Long since gone?” Wallace said. “When did you pay off this loan?”
Trump said it was paid off recently. His memory seems to have blurred.
“Are you aware that the Trump Chicago loan was paid off last week?” Wallace said.
“I heard it was,” Trump said. “I don’t know if it was last week. I know it was recently.”
Trump also said that son Eric Trump made the decision to pay the loan off early.
“There was no victim…they made a lot of money,” Trump said a moment later. Another digression ensued.
“Everyone is trying to figure out why are you doing this,” Trump said, insisting he had the best lawyers “in the world. “
“Nobody understands it,” Trump said. “I understand it--it’s called politics.”
Before returning to court, Trump posted on Truth Social to endorse a comment from Andy McCarthy, a columnist for National Review and a former assistant US attorney for the Southern District of New York.
McCarthy called into question the court’s impartiality in the case, telling Fox News: “This whole NY justice system is fraudulent in the sense that these are elected Democrats. She is an elected Democrat who campaigned for office on a vow that she would use the power of the state to get him, which is a Soviet way of going about your business.”
Court is back in session and Trump returns to the stand
We’re back. Court is in session. Trump has returned to the stand.
Wallace is asking Trump about his loans at Deutsche Bank. Remember: New York Attorney General Letitia James said that Trump defrauded banks and insurers by using over-valued assets to secure advantageous rates.
Trump has returned to the courtroom following the lunch break.
He is expected to continue testifying in a few moments.
Here are some of the latest pictures from the news wires on Trump’s day in court:
Trump returned to assailing the judge almost as soon as he was out of the courtroom for the lunch break, angrily posting on Truth Social a graphic of the judge’s earlier remark admonishing him for making irrelevant statements during his testimony.
The post quoted NY supreme court justice Arthur Engoron saying “No, I’m not here to hear what [Trump] has to say” – a line that came during a furious exchange between the judge and Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba.
The exchange was remarkable for its tone and hostility. Engoron is clearly furious at Trump and his legal team, but reserved particular ire at Trump lawyer Habba when she pushed back at him and said he was there to listen to Trump’s responses. The judge turned to her and, almost shouting, told her to “SIT DOWN”. Trump was shaking his head as his lawyers were dressed down, and said unprompted: “This is a very very unfair trial and I hope the public is watching.”
It may be the Trump team’s intention to aggravate the judge and provoke him into a mistake that they might be able to use to undercut the case on appeal. But it’s a dangerous game because Engoron has a lot of power in his own courtroom, and has twice threatened to draw “negative inferences” from Trump’s testimony – which could lead to him imposing the most severe sanctions. NYAG has asked for a $250m penalty.
Trump testimony summary so far
During an eventful morning session many, if not most, of the key moments involved Trump attacking his opponents and calling them political operatives, making for a courtroom drama that often involved more theatrics than facts.
Here are some key points from the testimony so far:
Judge Arthur Engoron, whom Trump has repeatedly bashed as a political operative and other smears along those lines, threatened to boot him off the witness stand for not answering questions succinctly. Engoron said to Trump lawyer Chris Kise: “I beseech you to control him. If you can’t, I will; I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.” Not surprisingly, Trump groused: “This is a very unfair trial…and I hope the public is watching.”
Trump effectively accused Engoron – who determined the ex-president’s real estate valuations were fraudulent – of being a fraud. ‘The fraud is on behalf of the court,” Trump ranted. “He says that I’m a fraud … He’s the one that didn’t value property correctly.” He also told Engoron: “You’re wrong.”
The core of James’ civil fraud trial is Trump’s inflation of real estate assets so, it’s noteworthy that he seemed to recognize that his Trump Tower triplex might have been over-stated. Asked about the fact that the triplex had been listed as 30,000sf on financial statements – but was only about 10,000sf – Trump said it could have been a miscalculation. Whoever came up with the square footage, Trump said, just tripled the floor space for each floor. But, “they didn’t take out elevator shafts” and other non-usable square footage, he surmised.
Trump showed some self-awareness in court this morning when describing his political ascent. While insisting that his net worth was not over-stated, Trump repeatedly pointed to the value of the Trump name. “The most valuable asset was the brand value,” he said. “If you look at the companies, the brand value is a very big part of the asset value of the company.” Shortly thereafter, he said, “I became president because of my brand.
Before lunch Trump tried to ridicule attorney general Letitia James, sniping that “she doesn’t know what a 40 Wall Street is”.
It appears, James follows the Guardian’s Hugo Lowell and knows very well what 40 Wall Street is:
Court has broken for lunch. Trump will return in about an hour.
Despite Trump repeatedly describing her as a “political hack,” Letitia James has remained in good spirits.
After Trump’s last ad hominem rant, she appeared to laugh and smiled for several moments.
Trump rants against judge: 'the fraud is on behalf of the court'
During still more rambling testimony, Trump has doubled down in attacking judge Engoron, who prior to trial ruled that the ex-president’s real estate valuations were fraudulent.
The proceedings spiraled for Trump when he once again claimed that a “disclaimer clause” atop his financial statements insulated him from legal scrutiny, “where you don’t have to get sued by the attorney general of the state of New York” if there’s a mistake.
“No, no, no, no,” Engoron said. “Read my opinion again.”
“You’re wrong, in my opinion,” Trump shot back.
So began the rant.
“He ruled against me without knowing anything about me,” Trump said.
“He ruled against me and said I was a fraud without knowing anything about me. He called me a fraud and he didn’t know anything about me.”
“The fraud is on behalf of the court!” Trump said, repeatedly pointing. ‘“He says that I’m a fraud…he’s the one that didn’t value property correctly.”
“How do you do that? How do you rule against somebody and call them a fraud, as the president of the United States who did a great job…”
“It’s a terrible thing you’ve done…you believed that political hack back there, and that’s unfortunate.”
Wallace asked Trump whether he was done.
“Done,” the ex-president replied.
Trump defends property valuations while decrying political trial
Trump is being grilled on how valuations were determined for Mar-a-Lago and his golf resort in Aberdeen, Scotland--and the questioning devolved into criticism of judge Engoron and James.
Through questioning, Wallace has noted that the property valuations were deeply impacted by value of potential developments–-which have yet to happen.
Trump insisted that including development potential was above board, saying that the properties had the land area described.
“They’re spending $1bn down the road,” Trump said of Mar-a-Lago having value, with our without being developed differently.
As for his Scotland property, Trump said he didn’t need to build hundreds of thousands of houses right now, saying “I can do it anytime I want.”
He said that he did develop the property by building a golf course, which he described as “an artist ic expression” and “the greatest gold course ever built.”
“It’s one of the greatest pieces of land I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I just want to sit with–it’s called an investment.”
Pressed on why there hadn’t been building, Trump said: “I have a castle that we renovated but now, I want it just the way it is.”
“There’s nothing wrong with sitting on a property and waiting if you’re willing to play their game.”
Trump insisted that he had the money, “a lot more money” than people thought.
Gesturing emphatically at points, Trump once again railed against the AG’s office, saying that his financial statements went above and beyond in trying to be accurate.
“People don’t know how good a company I built, because people like you go around and try and demean me and try and hurt me” because of politics, Trump said.
“And in her case, definitely political,” he said of James.
“I think she’s a political hack, I think she used this case to try and become governor and she’s successfully used it to become attorney general,” Trump answered when asked if he disagreed with James’ assessments.
“I think she should be ashamed of herself.”
Donald Trump said he was too “busy” as president to review a financial document related to real estate valuation.
“Were you involved in the preparation of the 2021 statement?” Wallace asked.
“No,” Trump said. “I hadn’t seen it. I was so busy in the White House.”
“My threshold was China, Russia, and keeping our country safe.”
Remember: Trump is testifying in a civil fraud trial against him for the over-valuation of real estate assets. So, claiming that he didn’t look at a document with evidence of said fraud is not helping him.
Trump also didn’t give a firm answer when asked: “As you sit here today, do you know how big your Trump Tower apartment was?” (Trump had claimed in documents that it’s 30,000 sf, whereas the state attorney general has said it’s approximately one third of that.)
Trump said that he “heard, obviously, because of the trial” that it was in the ballpark of 10,000 feet, not the 30,000.
“It’s a triplex, and I think they probably took 10,000 feet per floor…and they went times three,” Trump said.
But, “they didn’t take out elevator shafts,” Trump said of those who came up with the overblown-square footage.
Judge threatens to boot Trump from court
Judge Engoron has lost his patience with Trump repeatedly failing to answer questions without rambling, once again urging lawyer Chris Kise “control him” and warning “if you can’t, I will; I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.”
The digression that drew Engoron’s ire stemmed from Wallace’s question about the valuation of 40 Wall Street. Trump insisted that the valuation was too low.
“The tower is a perfect measurement for turning that into condos and I have the right to do that and at some point, we or somebody will do that––that’s the highest and best use, in which case $550m is a very low number.”
“All you have to do is look at a picture of the building,” he continued. “You say ‘that’s worth a whole lot more.’”
“Mr Kise, that was a simple yes or no question,” Engoron said.
“The question was whether he believed that was an accurate number. We got another speech.”
Engoron threatned to boot Trump from proceedings and urged Kise to control his client or else.
“If you can’t, I will. I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.”
Kise said that it was only right for Engoron to hear Trump out.
“No, I do not want to hear everything that he has to say,” said Engoron with increasing annoyance. “He has a lot to say that has nothing to do with the case or the questions.”
“I would urge the court to take in all the questions,” Kise pushed back. “This is a situation where you have, on the stand, [a witness] whose a candidate for president of the United States.”
Kise then invoked Trump’s campaign, saying of the testimony that: “Having him here takes away from that effort.”
Another Trump attorney, Alina Habba, voiced opposition. Engoron eventually told them “sit down already.”
When questioning resumed, Trump grumbled: “This is a very unfair trial…and I hope the public is watching.”
Trump says he became president 'because of my brand'
Trump’s approach to defending himself against accusations that he over-valued real estate is interesting, to say the least. Trump said that if he wanted to inflate his assets on financial statements, he could have done it just by using his name.
“The most valuable asset was the brand value,” he said. “If you look at the companies, the brand value is a very big part of the asset value of the company.”
“If I wanted to build up a statement,” Trump said, “I would have added brand value here. and I would have increased it 10s of millions of dollars”
“It’s an asset,” he said of his brand. “Coca-Cola has it, and other big companies, public companies” have it.”
“I became president because of my brand,” Trump also said. “I sell books at levels that are incredible because of my brand.”
Judge asks Trump lawyer to 'control your client' as former president rails on stand
Donald Trump might have been prohibited from commenting on judge Arthur Engoron’s staff, but he freely railed against the jurist less than 30 minutes into his testimony.
The ex-president grew testy when asked about financial documents from approximately one decade ago; Trump’s alleged inflation of real estate assets is at the heart of his civil fraud trial.
When Wallace asked Trump about the document, he shot back: “It’s so long ago this is well beyond the statute of limitations.” Trump insisted that others would be exempt from scrutiny for a document this old.
“But I’m probably not, because I’m sure the judge will rule against me, because he always rules against me.”
“Mr Kise, was that comment necessary part of the narrative in answering the question,” Engoron said to Trump attorney Chris Kise, who had asked for his client to have some latitude in answering questions.
“Mr Trump, please just answer the question. You can attack me, you can do whatever you want, but answer the question,” Engoron said.
As questioning progressed, Trump grew increasingly incensed by Kise’s questions about his real estate being over-valued.
“Your case was that I had no money,” Trump said. “You sued me on the basis that Trump had no money and he wrote up phony things and he defrauded banks…”
“And even though these banks were paid back in full, there was no harm, no anything, everybody got their money in full, there was no victim,” Trump also said.
“The banks don’t even know what they’re doing in this case.”
“Mr Kise, can you control your client?” Engoron interjected. “This is not a political rally. This is a courtroom .”
“I’ve asked several times. I’ve asked the witness several times to answer the question,” the judge also said. “I don’t want editorializing. We’ll be here forever and accomplish nothing.”
Kevin Wallace, who is questioning Trump for the New York Attorney General’s Office, has started his examination with questions about the structure of the former president’s financials.
Specifically, Wallace is asking about Trump’s revocable trust, which holds now his assets and names him as the sole beneficiary.
Trump said that he moved assets into the trust “primarily when I won” the presidency. At the time one of his sons, Donald Trump Jr., and then-Trump Organization finance head Allen Weisselberg, were named as trustees. He said he trusted Weisselberg and thought his son capable of helming it.
“He’s a hardworking boy, young man, and he’s done a very good job,” Trump said of his son. “I thought that putting him on it would be good.
“He’s smart, hes a very honorable guy.”
Wallace noted that when Trump left the White House, he appointed himself as sole trustee.
“ I figured that I’d be back in business, I might as well be the trustee.”
Trump also railed against the many prosecutors bringing cases against him, saying they are “all Democrats, all Trump haters, in all cases they’re not good, inappropriate and not good.”
Trump takes witness stand to testify in fraud case
“The people call Donald J. Trump.”
The ex-president has just taken the witness stand in the New York State Attorney General’s case against him. He had a dour demeanor as he was sworn in and sat down.
New York attorney general Letitia James spoke outside the court before the hearing. She said she expected Trump to “engage in name-calling and taunts and race-baiting, and call this a witch hunt”.
James said the former president has “repeatedly and consistently misrepresented and inflated the value of his assets.”
“But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters are the facts and the numbers - and numbers, my friends, don’t lie.”
Donald Trump enters court for testimony in fraud case
Just before 10 am local time, Trump walked into the courtroom at 60 Centre street to testify in New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ civil fraud case against him.
His testimony could start within moments.
While Trump’s testimony in court this morning is watershed in many ways, the ex-president is no stranger to taking the stand as a witness in trials.
Since 1986, Trump has testified in at least eight trials, according to an Associated Press analysis. The AP also reports that Trump has been questioned under oath “in more than a dozen depositions and regulatory hearings.”
In some of the proceedings detailed by AP, Trump comported himself as he did while in the White House and now, as an ex-president facing legal battles on several fronts--with anger and bombasity.
In an antitrust lawsuit filed against the National Football League nearly four decades ago, for example, Trump decried claims that he spied on the football association, calling it “such a false interpretation it’s disgusting.”
During a 2013 trial involving a Chicago widow who filed suit over contractual changes to a condo tower, “Trump grew increasingly agitated as his testimony wore on, at one point raising his arms and bellowing: ‘And then she sued me. It’s unbelievable!,’” AP said.
And, of course, there was Trump’s testimony in this trial nearly two weeks ago, when Judge Arthur Engoron questioned him about violating a gag order barring commentary about his court staff.
Trump claimed that he was speaking ill of former fixer-turned-state witness Michael Cohen, but Engoron determined: “As the trier of fact I find that the witness is not credible.”
Trump was fined $10,000.
Before heading to the court, Trump used Truth Social to attack the judge and attorney general in the case and claimed once again the case is politically motivated:
Got a really Biased, Nasty, Club controlled, but often overturned, Judge, a Racist, Evil, and Corrupt Attorney General, BUT A CASE THAT, ACCORDING TO ALMOST ALL LEGAL SCHOLARS, HAS ZERO MERIT,” he wrote. “A dark day for our Country. WITCH HUNT!
Donald Trump arrives at courthouse
Donald Trump has arrived at the Manhattan court house. The hearing is due to start at 10am ET and we will bring you all the latest from his testimony.
The former president will be testifying in a packed courtroom after journalists and court watchers lined up for hours before the court opened to secure a seat.
Trump motorcade 'leaves for courthouse'
Donald Trump’s motorcade has left Trump Tower and is heading for the courthouse, according to NBC.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka is also expected to testify at the trial later this week. She is not a defendant in the case after an appellate court said earlier this year the specific claims against her were too old.
Ivanka Trump has argued against testifying several times. But her argument last week that she should be spared giving midweek testimony because she is a busy mother of school-age children in Florida was given short shrift by an appeals court.
Ivanka, who was a senior adviser during her father’s single term in office, asked a panel to set aside a ruling by a district court judge compelling her to testify on Wednesday.
But in an expedited ruling on Thursday night, the appeals court offered a curt, 11-word response.
“Application for interim stay pending decision on the motion is denied,” the judges wrote.
As a result, Trump will become the third child of the former president to give evidence in the trial, in which executives of the Trump Organization, including family members, deny wrongdoing.
The office of New York attorney general Letitia James, who has brought the trial against Trump and the Trump Organization has tweeted this morning:
Here are some images from last week’s hearings involving Eric and Donald Trump Jr, as well as other top executives from the Trump Organization:
The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s $250m fraud trial moved to gag Trump’s lawyers from talking about “confidential communications” between the judge and his staff on Friday.
Judge Arthur Engoron has already fined Trump $15,000 for attacking his clerk on social media and threatened to jail the former president if the attacks continue.
“Failure to abide by this directive shall result in serious sanctions,” warned Engoron.
Here are some more details from the gag order:
“As I have stated on the record, seemingly to no avail, my law clerks are public servants who are performing their jobs in the manner in which I request. This includes providing legal authority and opinions, as well as responding to questions I pose to them.
Plainly, defendants are not entitled to the confidential communications amongst me and my court staff, who are hired specifically to aid me in carrying out my adjudicative responsibilities. Nor are they entitled to continue referencing my staff in the record…
This gag order is as narrowly tailored as possible to accomplish its purpose, which is to protect the safety of my staff and promote the orderly progression of this trial. As I have made clear, as the Judge in this case and the trier of fact, the gag order does not apply to me.
However I will not tolerate, under any circumstances, remarks about my court staff. The threat of, and actual, violence resulting from heated political rhetoric is well-documented.
Since the commencement of this bench trial, my chambers have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threating phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters, and packages.
The First Amendment right of defendants and their attorneys to comment on my staff is far and away outweighed by the need to protect them from threats and physical harm.”
The Guardian’s Martin Pengelly took a look at the testimonies of Donald Trump’s eldest sons last week and why their repeated claims of “I don’t recall” may ring some bells:
In 1990, Ronald Reagan testified at the trial of John Poindexter, his former national security adviser caught up in the Iran-Contra affair. Two years out of office, questioned for eight hours, the former US president memorably said “I don’t recall” or “I can’t remember” no less than 88 times.
This week, the two adult sons of one of Reagan’s Republican successors took the stand in New York, for testimony in a $250m civil fraud trial in which the judge has already determined the family’s guilt and now seeks to determine their penalty.
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump often pays tribute to Reagan. In the courtroom, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump tipped the hat to the master of repetitive deflection under legal examination.
On Wednesday, Trump Jr answered several questions in the Reagan manner. Asked, for example, about the Donald J Trump Revocable Trust, and if his father was still one of its trustees, he simply said: “I don’t recall.”
On Thursday, Trump Jr was asked about a $2m severance package given earlier this year to Allen Weisselberg, the longtime Trump Organization chief financial officer who went to jail for tax fraud. He could not recall much, he said.
For the full story, click here:
What we know so far
Here is a look at what we’ve learned about the Trump family civil fraud trial so far:
Donald Trump Jr repeatedly distanced himself last week from the statements of financial condition involved in the trial. “I do not recall,” the former president’s eldest son said multiple times and deferred to “the accountants [who] worked” on the statements.
Eric Trump echoed similar sentiments as his brother last week. When asked about how he ensured the accuracy of the financial estimates, he said, “I rely on the accounting office.”
New York attorney general Letitia James said that despite Eric and Donald Jr “pretend[ing] that they were not involved in their family’s fraudulent business…the facts tell a very different story.”
Ivanka Trump’s claim that she is too busy to testify during a school week, alleging that she will “suffer undue hardship,” was rejected by a New York appeals court last Thursday. She is set to appear in court later this week.
Judge Arthur Engoron extended a gag order to Trump’s legal team on Friday. The order prohibits Trump’s lawyers from discussing “confidential communications” between him and his court staff, citing threats of political violence.
Donald Trump set to testify in civil fraud trial
Donald Trump is set to make an appearance at the Manhattan federal courthouse today where he will testify as a defendant in his $250 million civil fraud lawsuit.
The lawsuit is brought forth by New York attorney general Letitia James who is accusing Trump and several top executives – including his eldest sons – from the Trump Organization of fraudulently inflating the value of the former president’s properties to secure better loans from banks.
With the court closed on Tuesday for Election Day, Trump’s hearing could very likely go into Wednesday where his daughter Ivanka Trump is scheduled to testify.
Trump’s testimony will follow the testimonies from his two adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr who repeatedly claimed last week that they do not recall or have knowledge surrounding the statements of financial condition.
Court is due to start at 10am ET and in previous hearings the judge allowed pictures to be taken before testimony got under way.
In September, the judge overseeing the trial, Arthur Engoron, ruled that Trump committed fraud for years as he expanded his real estate empire. Engoron’s ruling came as part of a rejection of Trump’s attempt to throw out the lawsuit against him.
On Friday, Engoron moved to prohibit Trump’s attorneys from discussing “confidential communications” between him and his staff, which he said put his staff at risk.
The case has drawn ire from Trump who lashed out at Engoron in fiery Truth Social posts. “He is the fraudster, not me,” the former president said, adding that Engoron is a “Trump hating, radical left, Democrat operative judge.”
There are not expected to be any cameras in court. Stay tuned as we bring you the latest updates.