Trump has to testify in New York – he has a lot of experience as a witness

Donald Trump’s personal testimony in the New York fraud trial is eagerly awaited. A look into the ex-president’s past gives an idea of ​​how his appearance could go.

Donald Trump has to appear in court again in New York on Monday. The former US president has been summoned to testify in the fraud trial against him. Attorney General Letitia James accuses Trump, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and employees of manipulating the value of the Trump Organization for years in order to get better conditions for loans and insurance. Judge Arthur Engoron had already confirmed this before the trial – the civil proceedings are now primarily about determining possible penalties.

Trump, who wants to run for the Republicans again in the presidential election in a year’s time, denies the allegations and considers the process to be politically motivated. His sons have already denied any allegations in court and said they had nothing to do with the Trump company’s accounting and billing. The two are part of the management of the Trump Organization, which owns numerous properties, hotels and golf courses.

Trump has a lot of experience on the witness stand

Donald Trump is currently struggling on numerous legal fronts. Since he was indicted in New York at the beginning of April over a hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels, he has become the first former US president to face trial. However, this does not mean that the 77-year-old has never taken the witness stand before – on the contrary.

Trump has testified in court in at least eight trials since the mid-1980s, according to an Associated Press (AP) review of court records and media reports. He was also questioned under oath in more than a dozen hearings and official interviews. His past statements give an idea of ​​what might be expected when he appears in Manhattan.

In 1985, Trump was called as a witness before the US Congress as the owner of the New Jersey Generals football team, a team from the NFL’s rival league USFL. In the USFL’s antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, the real estate mogul denied allegations that he spied on NFL officials at one of his hotels, calling the claim “such a misinterpretation it’s disgusting.”

In 1986, Trump told the New Jersey State Casino Commission that plans for highway overpasses near one of his casinos “would be a disaster. It would be a disaster.”

When Trump tried to buy Eastern Air Lines’ Northeast Shuttle Service in 1988, he used his charisma at a federal court hearing in Washington, beaming at the female clerks and shaking hands with the clerk during a break, AP reports. In his statement, Trump said the $365 million takeover would be a “big boost” to employee morale. The transaction was approved.

In 1990, Trump took the witness stand in a case involving boxing competitions. There he described a Mike Tyson fight he was planning for one of his casinos in Atlantic City as “one of the greatest rematches you can have.”

In 1999, when Trump was accused by two men of forcing them out of a gambling venture, he professed his ignorance, testifying: “I was shocked by this whole case. I had no idea who these people were.”

In a 2013 deposition about a failed Florida housing project, Trump blamed an aide for documents that said he was developing a project when in fact he wasn’t. “I have a wife who does this,” the billionaire said. He then began to analyze the wording under criticism and explained, “But you know, develop, the word develop can be used in many different contexts.”

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Also in 2013, Trump faced a lawsuit from a widow from a Chicago suburb. 87-year-old Jacqueline Goldberg had sued him over changes to the terms of the contract for the acquisition of shares in a hotel and a residential tower. Trump became more and more agitated as his testimony at the federal courthouse in Chicago continued, the Associated Press reported. At some point he raised his arms and shouted: “And then she sued me. That’s unbelievable!”

Goldberg’s attorney, Shelly Kulwin, told the news outlet that Trump’s testimony under cross-examination reflected the emotional ups and downs now seen at campaign rallies and on television. “His demeanor was calm at first, then he became argumentative, defensive, went off topic and gave a speech. That’s exactly what he’s doing today,” Kulwin said.

Goldberg lost to Trump but did not regret suing him, stating: “Someone had to stand up to him.” She died in August at the age of 97.

“Mr. Trump, this is not a political campaign”

Trump’s behavior in these hearings and trials and his statements, captured in thousands of pages of transcripts and some on videotape, show clear parallels between Trump the witness, President Trump and current presidential candidate Trump, according to the AP. “His rhetorical style in court proceedings over the years is reminiscent of his political vigor: a mix of ego, charm, defensiveness, aggressiveness, sharp language and distraction,” the news outlet writes. “He was combative and boastful, but also sometimes vague and tended to hedge or be dismissive.”

Lawyer Kulwin therefore also has some advice for Attorney General James: “In my experience with him, you should be able to ask very precise questions and support them with documents so that he cannot evade. I would contact the judge and have him admonished before he even takes the stand: ‘Mr. Trump, this is not a political campaign. You are not trying to win these people’s votes. This is a court case.'”

Sources: Associated Press.