Former President Donald Trump Testifying in $250 Million Civil Fraud Trial

Former President Donald Trump Testifying in $250 Million Civil Fraud Trial

Former President Donald Trump is slated to appear on the stand in a New York court this Monday, where his testimony could have far-reaching consequences for his extensive business network in the face of a high-profile civil lawsuit.

Trump faces intense questioning by AG Letitia James’ office

Eric Trump, also implicated in the case and having completed his testimony on Friday, conveyed to the media his father’s intense anticipation for the court appearance. He characterized the situation as an egregious injustice in his father’s eyes, one of the worst he has encountered.

Trump will be subjected to intense questioning under oath by an attorney from Attorney General Letitia James’ office, in the presence of state Judge Arthur Engoron — a judge whom Trump has repeatedly derided on Truth Social, his social media outlet. Trump’s recent posts have labeled Engoron as “crazy” and “dangerous,” and have called for his removal from the bench, branding him a “disgrace to the legal profession.”

As there will be no jury, the decision, which includes the potential financial penalties for Trump, his sons, and their company, rests solely in Judge Engoron’s hands.

Anticipation in the courtroom was palpable, with a throng of photographers stationed outside and Judge Engoron’s associates occupying front-row seats to witness the unfolding historical events.

Previous depositions have already caused complications for Trump in this legal saga. In an earlier investigative deposition by James in August 2022, he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights nearly 450 times.

His deposition in April, subsequent to James’ lawsuit alleging the inflation of assets by billions to secure favorable financial deals, will likely set the stage for his upcoming testimony.

Former President Donald Trump attempted to distance himself from the organization’s financial statements

During the seven-hour deposition, Trump distanced himself from the responsibility for his organization’s financial statements, though the Attorney General’s office contends he deviated significantly from standard accounting practices. Trump maintains reliance on his accountants and suggests that his properties have been undervalued.

In a bold assertion, Trump promised the AG’s office that the trial would reveal astonishing figures, challenging their lower estimates.

Some of Trump’s deposition comments were cited by Engoron in a pre-trial summary judgment that found Trump liable for fraud. Engoron dismissed Trump’s defense as baseless.

Engoron and Trump also clashed over the valuation of the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, with Trump disputing the judge’s reference to lower property value assessments and claiming the property is worth considerably more.

Trump’s deposition also veered into personal grievances and other topics, such as his disdain for offshore windmills.

Former President Donald Trump faces four more criminal trials

In a brief testimony during the fraud trial, Engoron questioned Trump about disparaging remarks concerning the court staff, which Trump attributed to his former lawyer Michael Cohen. Engoron deemed Trump’s response unconvincing and imposed a $10,000 fine.

Trump’s prior extensive court testimony was during a 2013 civil case in Chicago, described as alternately contentious and self-promoting, yet he prevailed in the case.

Additionally, Trump faces four impending criminal trials next year: one on federal classified documents, the election interference cases in Fulton County, Georgia, and Washington, D.C., and the Manhattan DA’s investigation into the Stormy Daniels hush money payments.

Historically, Trump isn’t the first former president to take the stand post-presidency; Teddy Roosevelt testified in court twice after his term, winning both cases against personal and political accusations.

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