Sep 6, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he would "absolutely" testify at his criminal trials

Former President Trump arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Aug. 24 in Atlanta. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Trump said that he will testify if his criminal indictments go to trial during an interview that aired Wednesday with conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt.

The big picture: Trump made similar remarks in 2018 during Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying he was "looking forward" to being interviewed under oath. He ultimately did not testify.

Driving the news: Trump told Hewitt that he would "absolutely" take the stand and testify in potential trials, saying he would "look forward" to it.

  • He also said that he would have "no interest" in a potential plea deal with prosecutors in the multiple jurisdictions where he faces charges, if they offered to drop them on the condition that he drops out of the 2024 presidential race.
  • "I have no interest. You know me well enough. No interest. Absolutely no interest. I think they'd make that deal right now."

The big picture: Trump, the front-runner in the 2024 GOP presidential primaries, faces four criminal indictments as his mountain of legal troubles are expected to clash with his presidential campaign.

  • He pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.
  • The former president has also previously rejected testifying, including over a 2016 hush money payment.
  • If he does decide to take the stand, it could become a potential liability for his defense if he makes false or misleading statements.

Flashback: Trump's former personal lawyer John Dowd previously did not want the former president to testify in 2018 to then-special counsel Mueller over fear of perjury, the Washington Post reported.

  • Mueller ultimately never subpoenaed Trump, at least in part "because of the necessity of expediting the end of the investigation," he said.
Go deeper