Donald Trump will return to testify in New York civil fraud trial, lawyers say

UPI
Former President Donald Trump, shown in the New York courtroom of Judge Arthur Engoron on Nov. 6, will return to the stand on Dec. 11 as a witness in his own defense, his lawyers revealed Monday. File Photo by Brendan McDermid/UPI/Pool
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Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Lawyers for Donald Trump said Monday they will call the former president to the witness stand again in the closing days of his ongoing $250 million fraud trial in New York state court.

Defense Attorney Chris Kise told Judge Arthur Engoron that Trump likely will be called as the last witness in his own defense on Dec. 11, ABC News and NBC News reported.

Trump previously testified as a prosecution witness earlier this month as New York Attorney General Letitia James seeks to impose damages of $250 million for alleged fraud she claims inflated Donald Trump's wealth by $2.2 billion.

During the trial's first phase in September, Engoron issued a summary ruling determining Trump's real estate business enriched itself by inflating the value of his real estate, including his hotels and golf clubs.

In his comments to the judge on Monday, Kise indicated the former president's son, Eric Trump, also will take stand as a defense witness and is currently slated to testify on Dec. 6. Eric Trump, likewise, was called earlier as a prosecution witness.

Meanwhile on Monday, Trump's attorneys filed documents in New York state appellate court arguing the former president isn't responsible for what court officials say are are "hundreds of threatening, harassing, disparaging and antisemitic messages" directed toward Engoron and his law clerk, Alison Greenfield.

In making his case against a limited gag order on Trump in the case, defense lawyer Clifford Robert said the attacks were not, in fact, caused by a social media post Trump made in which he claimed without evidence that Greenfield is "running" the case and linking her to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer.

"Respondents' sole cognizable justification for the Gag Orders is that an unknown third party may react in a hostile or offensive manner to Petitioners' speech," Robert wrote, asserting there is "no indication" Trump has "any connection" or exercises any control over others' behavior, which he does "not condone."