Will Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial be televised?

It’s the moment everyone has been waiting for as the former president himself will take the stand in Manhattan today

Rachel Sharp
Monday 06 November 2023 09:02 EST
‘I should have worn makeup’: Donald Trump Jr appears in court in father's civil fraud trial

In a historic moment for America, Donald Trump is set to give testimony under oath today in a case that threatens to topple his business empire.

The former president is expected to take the stand in his civil fraud trial in New York on Monday, days after his adult sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr testified last week.

His daughter Ivanka Trump is slated to appear for testimony in court on Wednesday – hours before the third Republican primary debate.

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil lawsuit back in September 2022 accusing Mr Trump, his adult sons Don Jr and Eric, the Trump Organization and several executives of widespread business fraud including overinflating the company’s value for years.

Mr Trump has already been found liable for fraud – in a bombshell ruling from the judge just days before the case was headed to trial.

Judge Engoron ruled that Mr Trump, his adult sons, businesses and some of their executives “grossly and materially inflated” the value of the Trump Organization’s assets for more than a decade.

By deceiving banks, insurers and others by exaggerating the value of assets, the company was able to secure more favourable business deals and loans, the judge found.

Now, the judge will determine what penalties Mr Trump should face.

AG James is seeking $250m in penalties from Mr Trump and for him to be banned from doing business in New York – something that would be a major blow to his business empire and see his namesake buildings like Trump Tower shutter.

To date, Mr Trump has put in an appearance in court at the civil fraud trial – notably to stare down his former fixer turned sworn enemy Michael Cohen as he took the stand as a star witness for the prosecution.

Cohen spent time in jail over his work for Mr Trump before he became the so-called star witness in the first criminal case brought against the former president.

In the lead-up to the 2016 election, Cohen – then Mr Trump’s attorney and fixer – made hush money payments on behalf of Mr Trump to silence women about the alleged affairs they had with him. Cohen was later convicted of tax evasion, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations related to the payments and was sentenced to three years in prison.

During his testimony, Cohen claimed that he was instructed to “manipulate” business documents to “whatever number Mr Trump told us to”.

Meanwhile, when Eric and Don Jr took the stand, they denied all knowledge of almost all business dealings at the company they headed up.

New York Attorney General Letitia James looks on as former US President Donald Trump attends the Trump Organization civil fraud trial on 25 October

Now, the moment everyone has been waiting for is about to take place on Monday as the former president himself will take the stand.

His testimony will not be televised but The Independent will be providing live coverage from the courtroom.

Mr Trump is also likely to speak to reporters in the courtroom corridors in between the court sessions, something he has done during his other days in court.

However, he will need to watch what he says after he was placed under a gag order and hit with $15,000 fines following repeated comments made about the court clerk.

Ahead of his appearance, Mr Trump reposted several of his past Truth Social posts where he attacked Judge Arthur Engoron and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

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