Donald Trump Trial: Former President Takes Witness Stand, Calls Prosecutors 'Haters,' Judge Says 'This Is Not A Political Rally'

Zinger Key Points
  • Former President Donald Trump testifies Monday during trial in case brought by state of New York against Trump and his businesses.
  • Trump was questioned about financial statements and the valuations of his properties.

A civil fraud trial against Donald Trump and the Trump Organization enters another week Monday with the former president taking the stand after his sons testified last week.

Here's what's being said in the courtroom Monday and what's next.

What Happened: A civil fraud trial against Trump and his business by the state of New York is one of many cases against the former president.

On Monday, Trump took the witness stand to answer questions about the case, which came in front of a full capacity courtroom and as anti-Trump protestors were gathered outside the courtroom Monday morning, according to NBC News.

Trump entered the courtroom shortly after 10 a.m. ET Monday and took the witness stand.

In his early testimony about the appointment of trustees, Trump lashed out at the attorney general and prosecutors.

"You and every Democrat … coming after me from 15 different sides… all haters," Trump said of the New York attorney general and other U.S. attorneys.

When asked about financial statements, Trump said the bankers "paid little attention" to the documents.

"They were more interested in the deal."  

Trump said the financial statements were so long ago and "past the statute of limitations," and said he is unable to recall his responsibility at the time.

The former president said that Judge Arthur Engoron will "rule against me because he will always rule against me."

Trump again distanced himself from the validity of the financial statements in question.

"All I did was authorize and tell people to give whatever is necessary to supply the accountants for the statements. I authorized whatever they needed to get their statements done."

With a lack of answers being given to questions and several rants on the witness stand by Trump, Engoron asked the former president's attorneys to control him.

"This is not a political rally … maybe you need to have a talk with him right now," Engoron said.

Trump testified that an apartment "was overvalued when I looked at it," but said the $250-million valuation may have been due to brand value.

"The brand value is a very big part of the asset value of the company. I could have added brand value and increased the value and my financial statement would be very substantial," Trump said.

One of the key assets in question in the case is Trump's Mar-a-Lago property in Florida. Trump said the value of Mar-a-Lago is being underestimated and said the judge's estimate of $18 million is "absolutely crazy."

Engoron again asked Trump's lawyers to have the former president answer questions directly. After Engoron raised his voice while responding to Trump’s lawyer, the former president said: "This is a very unfair trial. I hope the public is watching,"

Related Link: Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump Testify In Civil Fraud Case, Shift Blame To Accountants

What's Next: The trial headed for break on Monday shortly after 11 a.m. ET. Trump is expected to continue with more testimony in the afternoon.

Prior to entering the courtroom Monday, Trump told reporters the trial was "ridiculous" and said he is being attacked ahead of the 2024 election.

"It's very unfair. But in the meantime, the people of the country understand it. They see it, and they don't like it," Trump said. "They don't like it because it's political warfare, as you would call it."

Another key witness is expected to take the stand this week, with Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump set for a tentative trial date of Nov. 8, but she is actively trying to get out of testifying.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million in penalties against Trump and his businesses and a ban on the former president being able to conduct business in the state of New York in the future.

The civil fraud trial could last until Dec. 22, 2023, according to a previous statement by the judge.

DWAC Price Action: Digital World Acquisition DWAC shares are up 2% Monday to $15.10. The SPAC, which is set to take Trump Media & Technology Group public, is often volatile around events related to the former president.

Read Next: Trump And Biden Remain Tied In 2024 Election Poll

Photo via Shutterstock.

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: PoliticsLegal2024 electionArthur EngoronDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr.Eric TrumpIvanka TrumpLetitia James
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!