Trump statement: How he incriminated himself, according to analysts

His appearance was eagerly awaited: Donald Trump took the witness stand in the New York fraud trial on Monday. The public prosecutor’s office should be pleased with what he said there.

Donald Trump may regret his testimony in the fraud trial in New York. The former US President announced to reporters on Monday as he left the Supreme Court in Manhattan that things had “gone very well.” But according to analysts, the defendant did more harm than good to himself with his appearance.

CNN expert calls Trump statement “debacle”

Trump took the witness stand to defend himself against Attorney General Letitia James’ allegations. She accuses the 77-year-old, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and employees of the Trump Organization of manipulating the value of the company 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 therefore primarily about determining possible penalties.

“It was really a debacle,” said Elie Honig, lawyer and chief justice analyst for the US broadcaster CNN, assessing Trump’s statement. The accused made significant admissions regarding the questionable financial reports of his holding company. “At a really important point, for me the most important sentence of the day, Trump said something like, ‘I’ve seen these reports, I’ve reviewed them, and sometimes I’ve contributed,'” Honig explained. “It was just a brief moment, but I think the prosecution will pounce on it because he admits he knew her and knew enough to give his input on the reports.”

Honig concluded, “I think his testimony was contradictory and messy, but it contains some really useful things for the attorney general’s office.”

“Trump said the stupidest thing he could”

Lawrence O’Donnell, political commentator, analyst and presenter on the left-liberal US broadcaster MSNBC, found even clearer words: Trump said “the stupidest thing he could have said” on the witness stand, O’Donnell judged. The 77-year-old “incriminated himself and his children with the only one-word answer he gave all day” when asked who in the Trump Organization was responsible for preventing and detecting fraud I replied: “Everyone”.

“And in doing so, Donald Trump destroyed every shred of defense for himself and his co-defendants Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump,” O’Donnell said. As a witness, Trump’s job was to convince the judge that the fraud was not his fault or that of his sons, but that his accountants were responsible. Instead, the ex-president “burdened himself and his children.”

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

Sources: “Mediaite,” MSNBC