It appears that, despite what an attorney for him had said only days earlier, former President Donald Trump has second thoughts on testing the limits imposed by New York judge Arthur Engoron during the civil fraud trial brought against him.
Trump has testified in court twice before; as we wrote previously, he was briefly called to the witness stand by Engoron late in October to discuss the gag order. Both the judge and prosecution team interrogated him in early November.
Trump was defiant, and even combative at times when he gave his testimony on Nov. 6. He defended his wealth, denied wrongdoing, and sparred with the Judge, whom he called an “extremely aggressive judge,” and referred to New York Attorney-General Letitia James as a “political hack”.
Trump responded to questions from state attorneys for approximately 3 1/2 hours. He often used lengthy diatribes. The judge Arthur Engoron was irritated by his verbose responses. He said: “This isn’t a political rally.”
Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney, responded to questions on Thursday about whether her client would be willing to return to testify in his own defense. Habba stated in a recent press conference that he was insistent on testifying and she tried to discourage him due to the gag order.
Even though I advise that you never, ever take the witness stand when there is a gag order, he still wants to do so. He is so strongly against what’s happening in the courtroom and for an America we all know, not of this one, that he plans to take this stand on Monday. But, as we all know that was then.
Trump has now written in a Truth Social two-part post that he won’t be testifying Monday after all:
Former President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he would not be returning to the witness stand for the $250 million civil fraud case against him and his business.
“I’ve already testified on everything and have nothing else to say except that this is an absolute & total interference in the election (Biden campaign!) Witch hunt” Therefore “I won’t be testifying on January,” Trump stated in a two-part, all-caps post on his social media platform Truth Social.
The post continues:
“I have successfully and conclusively testified in the AG’s “rigged case against me.” He claimed that the only fraud was committed by the racist A.G. and highly partisan judge.
Read the following statement from Trump Attorney Chris Kise:
There is nothing else to say about a judge who has issued an unconstitutional order of gag and so far seems to have ignored the testimony of President Trump and everyone else involved in complex financial transactions that are at issue in this case.
Kise said that the witnesses they had used already proved that “there were no defaults or victims, and there was no fraud.” He added that “under these circumstances, it is not valid for President Trump to testify any further in this case.”
We’ll update you on any new developments as this story is still developing.