Oct 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he'll testify at "appropriate time" in civil fraud trial

Former President Donald Trump speaks as he returns from a short break during the second day of his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on October 03, 2023 in New York City

Former President Trump speaks as he returns from a short break during the second day of his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on Oct. 3 in New York City. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Former President Trump said Tuesday that he will testify at "the appropriate time" in the New York civil fraud trial involving him and his business.

Driving the news: "Yes, I will. At the appropriate time I will be" testifying, Trump told reporters during a break during the second day of the trial.

  • Trump is attending the first two days of his civil fraud trial, even though his appearance was not required.
  • He is facing up as much as $250 million in fines in the trial — which could go on for months — that could impede his ability to do business in New York. He could lose properties including Trump Tower.

The big picture: Trump, the 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner, is on the witness list for both his own legal team and prosecutor New York Attorney General Letitia James. He has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

  • James filed a civil lawsuit last year accusing Trump and members of his family of financial fraud. She is seeking $250 million in damages.
  • Trump's three eldest children — Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka — are also listed as witnesses and could testify in the trial.

Of note: His appearance Monday during the trial offered a sampling of how his combative rhetoric on the campaign trail could play out.

What to watch: New York Judge Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing the case and issued a pre-trial ruling that Trump committed fraud, said Monday that he expects the case to last until Dec. 22.

Go deeper: Trump's courtroom calendar clashes with 2024 presidential election

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