Former President Donald Trump said he will not testify in his New York civil fraud trial on Monday, back-tracking on a statement last week in which he said he would be taking the stand in his defense case.
Trump said in a post on Sunday that he had “nothing more to say” after his testimony in early November, calling the case a “witch hunt.”
The lawsuit alleges that the Trump Organization, his family’s real estate business, inflated assets by as much as $3.6 billion each year for more than a decade in order to get better loan terms from banks.
Trump had said he would testify a second time as part of his defense case, which has mostly featured paid experts criticizing the state’s lawsuit. His earlier testimony, as a witness for the state’s side of the case, featured several hours of hostile answers from the former president. Trump used his time on the stand to verbally attack the judge and the attorney general, while praising his own business expertise and his history of repaying loans on time. He wasn’t cross-examined by his lawyers.
Polling shows that the former president is the current Republican front-runner for the 2024 presidential election. As his campaign is plagued by the schedules of multiple ongoing criminal cases against him, the switch-up reiterates the fickle back-and-forth between Trump and his prosecutors.
Trump is already under a gag order which prohibits him and his lawyers from publicly discussing the law clerk for the judge in charge of his case. The judge ruled that Trump made “repeated inappropriate remarks” which led to harassment to the judge’s chambers.
Christopher Kise, Trump’s counsel, said that there is “really nothing more to say” to the judge, adding that he “appears to have ignored” testimonies from Trump and others.
“Under such circumstances, there is no valid reason for President Trump to testify further in this case,” Kise said.
(With assistance from Erik Larson.)
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