Trump takes witness stand in New York civil fraud trial – JURIST

Former US President Donald Trump took the witness stand on Monday in New York Legal professional Common Letitia James’ civil fraud trial towards the Trumps. Trump refuted the state’s claims that his enterprise manipulated property valuations and monetary statements for monetary achieve. Throughout Trump’s testimony, the choose overseeing the case repeatedly admonished Trump—who’s the present Republican front-runner for the 2024 US presidential election—for a number of feedback, stating, “This isn’t a political rally.”

The bench trial started on October 2 with opening statements from the state and Trump’s attorneys. Since then, the choose has heard testimony from witnesses comparable to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, in addition to Trump’s two sons, Eric and Donald Jr. Beneath New York law, the proceedings are closed to the media, so there isn’t any footage of their testimony.

Reporters inside the room, nevertheless, captured Trump’s testimony. State prosecutors known as Trump to the stand and offered him with monetary statements from his enterprise, the Trump Group, which they purported reveal monetary fraud. Trump repeated his earlier authorized protection {that a} sure clause situated on the doc—what Trump known as a “nugatory clause”—shifted blame from him to the accountants who reviewed the monetary paperwork. It’s value noting that Choose Arthur Engoron—the choose overseeing the case—beforehand dismissed Trump’s argument relating to the “worthless clause” in pre-trial motions.

After a short while on the stand, Trump started to assault the state prosecutors. At one level, Trump advised the prosecutor, “You go round and try to demean me and try to damage me, most likely for political causes.” Feedback like this prompted Engoron to repeatedly scold Trump, reminding him to restrict his statements to the case materials.

Engoron beforehand issued a gag order towards Trump for comparable feedback concerning the court docket and his employees. On October 20, Engoron imposed a $5,000 fine on Trump over posts about Engoron’s clerk on Trump’s presidential marketing campaign website. Then on October 25, Engoron imposed a $10,000 fine on Trump over a remark the previous president made to reporters about Engoron’s employees.

Trump spoke to reporters exterior of the courtroom after concluding his testimony. He stated, “This can be a case that ought to have by no means been introduced. It’s a case that needs to be dismissed instantly.” Trump went on to name the court docket a “fraudster” and declare that prosecutors misinterpreted monetary data from the Trump Group. Of notice, the paperwork state prosecutors have offered to the court docket have been obtained from Trump’s accounting agency, after much back and forth in 2022 throughout James’ investigation into the Trumps.

James additionally spoke to reporters exterior of the courthouse after Trump’s testimony. She stated, “The numbers don’t lie. And Mr. Trump, clearly, can have interaction in all of those distractions…However I cannot be bullied. I cannot be harassed. This case will go on. We sit up for listening to the testimony of Ivanka Trump on Wednesday.”

James first launched the civil swimsuit towards Trump in September 2022, claiming the Trumps and their enterprise associates allegedly engaged in financial fraud to acquire extra favorable mortgage charges and tax breaks. Initially, the lawsuit contained seven claims. Since then, nevertheless, Engoron found that James proved Trump inflated the worth of varied property between $812 million and $2.2 billion annually since 2011. Due to that, the continuing bench trial solely pertains to the six remaining claims. James is in search of greater than $300 million in ill-gotten good points and a ban on the Trumps’ means to conduct enterprise in New York.

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