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Trump says he will not testify again at New York civil fraud trial

Donald Trump

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump said he will not testify on Monday at his civil fraud trial in New York City.

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Posting on his Truth Social platform on Sunday at about 3:30 p.m. EST, Trump said that he “VERY SUCCESSFULLY & CONCLUSIVELY” testified last month, and said there was no need to appear again in the Manhattan courthouse, The New York Times reported.

His statement on social media was delivered in all capital letters. Trump stated that “I WILL NOT BE TESTIFYING ON MONDAY,” followed by “I HAVE ALREADY TESTIFIED TO EVERYTHING & HAVE NOTHING MORE TO SAY.”

Trump had been expected to testify in his defense in the trial as recently as Sunday morning but abruptly changed his mind, the newspaper reported.

“President Trump has already testified,” Trump attorney Chris Kise said in a statement. “There is really nothing more to say to a Judge who has imposed an unconstitutional gag order and thus far appears to have ignored President Trump’s testimony and that of everyone else involved in the complex financial transactions at issue in the case.”

The defense in the case is expected to conclude its case by calling Eli Bartov, an accounting professor at New York University, the Times reported. He will be followed by several rebuttal witnesses called by the lawyers for New York State Attorney General Letitia James.

Both sides are expected to file final briefs in January, and the trial judge, Arthur Engoron, is expected to deliver his ruling after that, according to the newspaper.

James sued Trump last year, alleging that the former president had a pattern of inflating his wealth on financial statements to track banks and insurers, the AP reported.

James has asked the court to fine Trump $250 million and be permanently barred from operating businesses in New York, the Times reported.

Had he testified, Trump would have been operating under a gag order imposed by Engoron barring comments about the judge’s staff, according to CNN.