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Trump Says He Will No Longer Testify Again In Civil Fraud Trial

Former President Donald Trump has said that he will no longer testify on Monday in his civil trial as previously planned, reflecting his growing frustration with the New York case.

The 2024 Republican candidate was scheduled to testify Monday for a second time in the trial, as the defense’s last major witness before the case wraps up. But in multiple, all-caps Sunday posts on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump reversed the decision and said that he will no longer take the witness stand.

“I WILL NOT BE TESTIFYING ON MONDAY,” he wrote, adding that he has “ALREADY TESTIFIED TO EVERYTHING & HAVE NOTHING MORE TO SAY.”

The trial stems from a lawsuit filed last year by New York Attorney General Letitia James, which accuses Trump, his company, and his top executives of misleading banks and insurers by inflating his wealth on financial statements. James is seeking more than $300 million in penalties, and to prohibit Trump and other defendants from doing business in New York.

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In the Truth Social posts, Trump repeated his claims, without evidence, that the accusations against him are baseless and a product of election interference by President Joe Biden’s campaign. He has denied any wrongdoing, accusing Judge Arthur Engoron of being “highly partisan & out of control” and James of being “racist.”

Trump already spent one day of the trial on the witness stand while state prosecutors presented their case. On Nov. 6, the former president was considered combative and stubborn while testifying for several hours, going on so many rants that Engoron said, “This is not a political rally.”

If he had gone through with testifying again on Monday, it would have been his own lawyers leading the questioning.

Trump allegedly wanted to testify again, according to his lawyer, Alina Habba, who said she discouraged him from doing so because of a gag order Engoron put in place. The order, which bans Trump from verbally attacking court staffers, was also in place when he took the witness stand the first time.

The judge imposed the limited gag order on Oct. 3 after the former president disparaged Engoron’s law clerk on social media. Trump was fined for repeatedly violating the gag order, resulting in the clerk receiving threats over the phone and online.

Trump’s lawyers attempted to overturn the gag order. A judge temporarily paused the order during the appeals process, but a New York appeals court reinstated it last week.

“He still wants to take the stand, even though my advice is, at this point, you should never take the stand with a gag order,” Habba told reporters last week. “But he is so firmly against what is happening in this court and so firmly for the old America that we know, not this America, that he will take that stand on Monday.”

In his post announcing the cancellation of his Monday testimony, Trump renewed his praise for a defense witness who backed him up on Thursday. The former president attended the trial that day as a spectator to watch New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov dispute the allegations of fraudulent financial statements and conclude that anything problematic was just an error.

“My main finding is that there is no evidence whatsoever of any accounting fraud,” Bartov testified.

Testimony in the case is expected to finish up before Christmas, and closing arguments are scheduled for January.

In addition to the New York civil fraud trial, Trump is also facing four criminal cases while campaigning to be elected president next year. He has denied wrongdoing in all the cases, and remains the 2024 front-runner for the Republican Party.

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