USA: Trump does not want to testify in New York fraud trial

The former US president was actually scheduled to appear in a court in New York today in the fraud trial against him. Now Donald Trump says he will not make any further statements.

Former US President Donald Trump does not want to testify personally in the ongoing fraud trial against him in New York today. The 77-year-old announced this on the online platform “Truth Social,” which he co-founded.

He had already testified “very successfully and convincingly,” Trump wrote in capital letters in a longer statement. Trump was expected to appear as a defense witness today in the final phase of the trial, which has been ongoing since the beginning of October.

The civil case is about the future of the 77-year-old’s corporate empire. The public prosecutor’s office accuses Trump, his sons and employees of manipulating the value of the Trump Organization for years in order to get cheaper loans and insurance contracts. The Republican Trump is not threatened with a prison sentence or a direct impact on his presidential candidacy, but a conviction could cause him great business damage.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James wants Trump to pay $250 million and no longer be allowed to do business in New York.

Trump had already testified in a heated and sometimes chaotic meeting in November and repeatedly emphasized that the value of his real estate was underestimated, but not inflated. However, he also freely admitted that he had influenced financial reports and sometimes contradicted himself. His children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka were also questioned by the public prosecutor in the proceedings.

The former president wants to be re-elected in 2024. He is the most promising candidate for the Republican nomination. According to many observers, he is using the process as election advertising.

Not the only process

In addition, Trump is still facing charges of election fraud. US special investigator Jack Smith has called in the Supreme Court on the question of Donald Trump’s immunity. The country’s highest court should quickly clarify whether the Republican could be prosecuted at the federal level for his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, it said in a corresponding application. “This case involves issues of exceptional national importance,” Smith wrote. “This case should therefore be decided expeditiously so that the trial can proceed if and when the defendant’s request for immunity is denied.”

Trump supporters stormed the parliament building in Washington on January 6, 2021. Congress met there to formally confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Trump had previously incited his supporters during a speech. As a result of the riots, five people died. Trump recently filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The 77-year-old justified this with the immunity of the presidency.