Donald Trump Testifies in New York Civil Fraud Trial

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Max Power

Max Power is the Editor-in-Chief of Undoing Time.  You can reach him at or by calling 866-664-3052


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Manhattan, New York – November 7, 2023 – Donald Trump took the stand as a defense witness in his civil trial and delivered a characteristically bombastic performance on the witness stand. During his testimony, he took the opportunity to launch verbal attacks at the New York attorney general who had initiated the case and the presiding judge overseeing the trial.

In what seemed like a return to his campaign trail days, Trump’s testimony made the multiple legal cases against him, including the civil fraud case brought by the New York attorney general, a central part of his argument for a potential presidential run in 2024.

Judge Arthur Engoron, who had previously clashed with Trump throughout the trial, initially attempted to rein in the former president’s political commentary and grandstanding. He even admonished Trump’s lawyer, Chris Kise, to “control your client” and even threatened to remove Trump as a witness. However, as Trump continued to make political statements, the judge eventually gave up on trying to curtail his behavior, allowing Trump to express his views, while mostly disregarding them.

The high-stakes civil case strikes at the heart of Trump’s brand—his real estate empire. New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million in damages from Trump and aims to prevent him from conducting business in the state. Judge Engoron had already ruled that Trump and his co-defendants were liable for fraud, and the New York attorney general’s office stated their intention to rest their case after Ivanka Trump’s testimony on Wednesday.

Trump’s testimony often resembled one of his political rallies, as he targeted the attorney general, the judge, and the “political witch hunt” that he had vocally criticized for years. His charged rhetoric was even more pronounced on the witness stand, where he publicly attacked the judge sitting beside him, with James herself present in the courtroom. Trump asserted, “The fraud is on the court, not on me.”

At the start of Trump’s testimony, Judge Engoron attempted to prevent him from making speeches and encouraged him to answer questions directly. However, Trump persisted in his approach, prompting the judge to threaten to remove him from the witness stand. This warning did little to deter the former president. “This is not a political rally,” Judge Engoron scolded Trump, instructing his attorney, Christopher Kise, to control his client.

The Attorney General questioned Trump about changes in property valuations, including the devaluation of his Trump Tower triplex on his financial statement in 2017, following a Forbes article that exposed exaggerations about its size. Trump conceded that there had been occasional mistakes, including the valuation of the Trump Tower apartment.


Beyond criticizing his investigators, Trump took the opportunity to promote his properties. He contested a valuation cited by the judge, who estimated Mar-a-Lago’s worth at $18 million based on Florida tax appraisal records. Trump argued that Mar-a-Lago was more valuable and would prove it in the future, suggesting its value was between one billion and one-and-a-half billion dollars.

The case is pending in the New York County Supreme Court.  The case is People of the State of New York v. Donald J. Trump, et. al, Index # 452564/2022.


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Donald Trump, Judge Engoran, Leticia James, fraud, Trump civil fraud trial

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