Former President Donald Trump insisted on Tuesday that he was willing to testify in his civil fraud trial in New York on Monday but claimed he couldn’t due to the limited gag order imposed by Judge Arthur Engoron.
“I wanted to testify on Monday, despite the fact that I already testified successfully, answering all questions related to the Fake, No Victims, No Jury lawsuit thrown at me by the Corrupt Racist A.G., Letitia James, and presided over by a Trump-hating judge who suffers from a massive case of Trump Derangement Syndrome and is a puppet for the CROOKED A.G.,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social page.
Trump expressed frustration over the gag order imposed by Engoron, claiming it took away his constitutional right to defend himself. He mentioned that his legal team is appealing the decision, stating, “How would you like to be a witness and not be allowed free and honest speech? THE TRIAL IS RIGGED. I DID NOTHING WRONG!!!”
On Sunday, Trump had announced that he wouldn’t testify, citing the strength of the evidence in his case. Trump’s attorney, Chris Kise, partly attributed the decision against testifying to the limited gag order in a statement to ABC News on Monday.
“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,” Kise said.
Meanwhile, Judge Engoron announced on Tuesday that he would allow Attorney General Letitia James to call two witnesses during the state’s rebuttal after the Trump team rests its case. Trump’s legal team argued against this decision, stating that the government had held these witnesses back.
State Attorney Kevin Wallace clarified that the rebuttal witnesses, former Trump Organization executive Kevin Sneddon and Cornell professor Eric Lewis, would only discuss arguments made in court. However, Kise argued that they would be “filling a hole” left by the defense team’s lack of evidence.
Judge Engoron stated that he saw “no reason not to allow these two purported experts to testify.” Trump’s attorneys mentioned the possibility of presenting an additional witness after the state’s rebuttal.