Trump won't testify in civil fraud trial today

Washington, Dec 11 (IANS): US President Donald Trump has said that he no longer plans to testify in his civil fraud trial in New York on Monday.

The civil fraud case strikes at the heart of the Trump Organization, the former President real estate empire.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the lawsuit, is suing the former President for $250 million and seeking to bar him from doing business in the state.

James, a Democrat, has alleged that the Trump Organization deceived lenders, insurers and tax authorities by inflating the value of his properties using misleading appraisals.

He was expected to testify on Monday to bolster his defence against the allegations after he was questioned by the New York Attorney General’s office last month.

But in a post on his Truth Social app on Sunday, Trump said that he “WILL NOT BE TESTIFYING ON MONDAY”, CNN reported.

The last-minute reversal comes as the trial is expected to conclude this week, after 11 weeks of testimony.

A decision is not expected until early next year.

“President Trump has already testified,” CNN quoted Trump attorney Chris Kise as saying in a statement on Sunday explaining the former President's decision not to appear Monday.

He said the prior testimony and that of other witnesses made their case and that there was “no valid reason” for Trump to return to the witness stand.

Also in a statement, Attorney General James said: "Donald Trump already testified in our financial fraud case against him. Whether or not Trump testified again tomorrow, we have already proven that he committed years of financial fraud and unjustly enriched himself and his family.

"No matter how much he tries to distract from reality, the facts don’t lie.”



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