July 17, 2024

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Former President Donald Trump wrote in a social media post on Sunday that he won’t testify in his $250 million civil fraud trial in New York on Monday.

“I will not be testifying on Monday,” Trump wrote in an all-caps, multi-part post on Truth Social.

Trump had previously been expected to return to the witness stand this week to testify in his own defense in the fraud trial brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

“President Trump has already testified,” Trump’s attorney Chris Kise said in a statement on Sunday. “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.”

Trump, along with his two adult sons and co-defendants, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, previously denied any wrongdoing when they were questioned on the witness stand by lawyers for the state. James has accused Trump and his co-defendants of falsely inflating Trump’s assets for financial gain.

Posting on Truth Social, the former president assailed the trial, which threatens his business empire as well as his family’s ability to do business in New York in the future.

“I have already testified to everything & have nothing more to say other than this is a complete & total election interference (Biden campaign!) witch hunt that will do nothing but keep businesses out of New York,” Trump, who is running for president again in the 2024 elections, wrote in the social media post.

The trial, which has gone on for more than two months, is entering its final week of testimony and is expected to end in January. Trump had been expected to testify in his own defense to push back on James’ claims that he and his co-defendants falsely inflated Trump’s net worth by billions of dollars to secure tax benefits and more favorable terms for bank loans.

Trump returned to court last week after the former president’s gag order in the case was reinstated after being temporarily suspended while Trump’s lawyers challenged it in appeals court. The order bars him from making public statements about the staff of Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the ongoing civil fraud trial. Engoron imposed the gag order after the judge’s principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, had repeatedly become the target of Trump’s public criticism.

Trump is still allowed to publicly criticize both Engoron and James.

Trump’s attorney, Kise, went on to slam James and what he described as a “rabid and unreasonable pursuit of President Trump” in his statement. “There is no valid reason for President Trump to testify further in this case,” Kise said in the statement.

In her own statement, the New York Attorney General responded to Trump’s decision not to take the stand again.

“Donald Trump already testified in our financial fraud case against him,” James said in the statement on Sunday. “Whether or not Trump testifies 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.”

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