In a surprising turn of events, the judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York has denied the former president’s request to postpone his testimony. This latest development comes as Trump faces a $250 million lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, accusing him, his adult sons, and top executives at The Trump Organization of conspiring to inflate his net worth.
Throughout the trial, Trump has launched scathing attacks on the judges and court staff involved, often using his social media platform, Truth Social, to voice his grievances. These actions led to gag orders being issued against him, but Trump continued to defy them with his online rants. He even targeted Judge Arthur Engoron’s wife recently, accusing her of posting derogatory claims about him. She has vehemently denied these allegations.
Despite Trump’s legal team requesting a delay in his testimony, Judge Engoron firmly refused, stating, “Not, no way, no how.” This decision by the judge follows a temporary freeze of the gag orders he imposed on Trump, which were subsequently lifted pending a full appeal from the former president’s lawyers.
In another twist, Donald Trump’s son, Eric Trump, has reversed his decision to testify as a defense witness in the case. Alan Garten, the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, explained that other witnesses had already covered the topics Eric was going to address, leading to the change.
During Trump’s previous testimony, which took place last month, he openly criticized the judge and opposing lawyers, branding them as “unfair.” Engoron had to reprimand Trump and his legal team, urging them to maintain decorum and reminding them that the trial was not a political rally.
As the trial proceeds, accounting expert Professor Eli Bartov of NYU is set to testify on Thursday. According to his attorney, Chris Kise, Trump is expected to attend the trial as a spectator.
The implications of this trial extend far beyond its immediate legal consequences. With Trump being the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, the outcome of this case could potentially impact his political aspirations. As the trial continues, the public and political observers eagerly await further developments in this high-stakes legal battle.