CNN

Trump says he’s not testifying in his civil fraud trial Monday

Dec 10, 2023, 3:49 PM

Former President Donald Trump attends his civil fraud trial on Dec. 7, in New York City.
(David Dee...

Former President Donald Trump attends his civil fraud trial on Dec. 7, in New York City. (David Dee Delgado, Getty Images)

(David Dee Delgado, Getty Images)

(CNN) — Former President Donald Trump wrote on his social media platform Sunday that he is no longer planning to testify in his civil fraud trial in New York on Monday.

Trump had been expected to return to court Monday to testify in an effort to bolster his defense against allegations he fraudulently inflated the value of his properties, after he was questioned by the New York attorney general’s office last month. But the former president wrote in a lengthy message on Truth Social that he “WILL NOT BE TESTIFYING ON MONDAY,” while continuing to attack the attorney general’s case against him and the judge overseeing it.

Trump had already testified once in the trial, but his appearance Monday would have given him a chance to speak at length while being questioned by his lawyers about his business and properties, and to attack the attorney general’s allegations against him. While the case does not involve criminal charges, the complaint from the attorney general, a Democrat, is personal to Trump – the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 – because it hits at his brand directly.

The last-minute reversal comes as the trial is expected to conclude this week, after 11 weeks of testimony. A decision is not expected until early next year.

The judge has already found that a decade of Trump’s financial statements were fraudulent. He will decide how much money Trump will pay and whether he and his two adult sons can conduct business in the state.

Trump’s appearance last month turned the witness stand into a campaign stop, with the judge imploring him to answer questions and leave politics outside the courtroom. Still, Trump did testify that he had some involvement in the financial statements and that banks relied on them, but that he relied on his accountants.

“President Trump has already testified,” Trump attorney Chris Kise said in a statement Sunday explaining Trump’s decision not to appear Monday. He said the former president’s prior testimony and that of other witnesses made their case and that there was “no valid reason” for Trump to return to the witness stand.

“Donald Trump already testified in our financial fraud case against him,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Sunday. “Whether or not Trump testified again tomorrow, we have already proven that he committed years of financial fraud and unjustly enriched himself and his family. No matter how much he tries to distract from reality, the facts don’t lie.”

Had he testified Monday, Trump would have been operating under a gag order imposed by Judge Arthur Engoron barring commentary about the judge’s staff. The gag order – which Engoron has fined Trump twice for violating – was put in place after the former president attacked the judge’s clerk on his social media.

The gag order, however, was not relevant to Trump’s testimony, which would have focused on his company and the case itself. It simply barred him from discussing the judge’s clerk, whom Trump and his attorney have accused of being biased against the former president.

Trump attorney Alina Habba said Thursday that she had recommended Trump not testify because of the gag order.

“He still wants to take the stand even though my advice is at this point you should never take the stand with a gag order. But he is so firmly against what is happening in this court,” she said.

Trump’s attorneys have appealed Engoron’s gag order, though it remains in place. Last week, Trump’s attorneys asked the judge to postpone his testimony in the defense case until the gag order is decided by the appeals court, which the judge denied.

“There is really nothing more to say to a Judge who has imposed an unconstitutional gag order and thus far appears to have ignored President Trump’s testimony and that of everyone else involved in the complex financial transactions at issue in the case,” Kise said in his statement.

When Trump was questioned by the New York attorney general’s office last month, his combative testimony drew rebukes from Engoron for ignoring the questions and instead attacking the attorney general, the judge and the case itself.

James is seeking $250 million in damages and to bar Trump from conducting business in the state. The attorney general’s complaint accuses Trump, his adult sons and his company of fraudulently inflating the values of his properties to obtain more favorable loan and insurance rates.

Following Trump’s surprise announcement Sunday, a clerk for the court told CNN that court will be dark Monday. Proceedings will resume Tuesday as scheduled, and Eli Bartov, an accounting expert whom Trump came to see testify last week, will face cross-examination from the attorney general’s office.

The attorney general’s office will then call rebuttal witnesses, who are expected to include another expert and a former employee of Trump International Realty. After that, each side has until January 5 to file briefs with Engoron. Closing arguments will take place January 11.

Trump has attended the trial several times, including Thursday, when Bartov testified for the defense.

Speaking outside the courtroom last week, Trump complained that he was in New York instead of campaigning in one of the early swing states, even though he was attending voluntarily.

“I should be right now in Iowa, in New Hampshire, in South Carolina. I shouldn’t be sitting in a courthouse,” Trump said.

KSL 5 TV Live

CNN

Kevin Monahan was convicted of second-degree murder, among other charges..
Mandatory Credit:	Lori V...

Ray Sanchez, CNN

New York man sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for killing woman when car turned in wrong driveway

Kevin Monahan was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for shooting and killing a woman who was a passenger in a car that turned in the wrong driveway.

5 hours ago

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced February 29 that Heritage Store Hydrogen Peroxide ...

John Towfighi, CNN

Mouthwash recalled nationwide over poisoning risk

One brand of hydrogen peroxide mouthwash is being recalled nationwide for posing a potential poisoning risk for children.

19 hours ago

Protesters gathered outside the Alabama State House in Montgomery in the wake of the IVF ruling on ...

Devon M. Sayers, Shirin Faqiri and Eric Levenson, CNN

Alabama House and Senate approve bills aimed at protecting in vitro fertilization after personhood ruling

The Alabama House and Senate each passed bills Thursday aimed at protecting in vitro fertilization treatments .

24 hours ago

Oprah Winfrey...

Jordan Valinsky, CNN

Oprah is leaving WeightWatchers, sending stock tumbling

Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of WeightWatchers, ending a nearly decade-long stint as a director of the beleaguered company that has faced sudden competition from Ozempic.

1 day ago

At least 104 people were killed, and at least 760 were injured, in a chaotic incident where Israel ...

Rob Picheta, Abeer Salman, Jeremy Diamond and Khader Al Za’anoun CNN

Carnage at Gaza food aid site amid Israeli gunfire. Here’s what we know

One of the worst single tragedies to occur during Israel’s war with Hamas took place Thursday, when scores of Palestinians were killed trying to access food aid in Gaza City.

1 day ago

Former President Donald Trump attends a campaign event ahead of the Republican presidential primary...

 Marshall Cohen, CNN

Illinois judge removes Trump from ballot because of ‘insurrectionist ban’

An Illinois judge has removed former President Donald Trump from the state’s ballot based on the 14th Amendment’s so-called “insurrectionist ban.”

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Trump says he’s not testifying in his civil fraud trial Monday