July 23, 2024

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Trump will be final defense witness at New York fraud trial, lawyer says

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump is questioned by Judge Arthur F. Engoron before being fined $10,000 for violating a gag order for a second time, during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., October 25, 2023 in this courtroom sketch. 

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump will return to the witness stand in December in the $250 million civil fraud trial that threatens his business empire, his attorney said Monday in court.

Trump will be the final witness for the defense on Dec. 11, in the trial brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, accusing him and his co-defendants of falsely inflating Trump’s assets for financial gain.

Trump’s adult son and co-defendant Eric Trump is scheduled to testify Dec. 6, defense attorney Christopher Kise said.

Trump Sr., Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. denied wrongdoing when they were previously questioned on the witness stand by lawyers for the state.

Trump, who is running for president again in 2024, has decried the case as a “witch hunt” and lobbed accusations of political bias at James, as well as the presiding judge and his principal law clerk.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has imposed gag orders barring Trump, his lawyers and the other defendants in the case from commenting publicly about his clerk, Allison Greenfield.

Engoron has also expressed concern about the hundreds of threatening and harassing messages that have “inundated” his chambers during the trial.

Battle over threats, gag orders

Earlier Monday, Trump’s attorneys argued that the former president is not responsible for the threats sent by third parties, while questioning Greenfield’s “purported security concerns” because she allowed herself to be photographed and identified in the media at the start of the trial.

Calling the threats “vile and reprehensible,” the lawyers said Trump and his co-defendants did not make the threats themselves, nor do…

2023-11-27 16:05:00

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