The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s New York fraud trial on Tuesday shot down his attorney’s request to postpone his scheduled testimony.
Trump attorney Chris Kise made a “lengthy request” to postpone Trump’s testimony, which is scheduled for Monday, until an appeals court reviews the gag orders Judge Arthur Engoron imposed on the former president and his legal team barring their attacks on his law clerk and court staff.
“Absolutely not. No way. No how. It’s a nonstarter,” Engoron told Kise, according to The Messenger’s Adam Klasfeld.
“You tried,” Engoron added. “And I gave it a deep thought, as well.”
Kise also told Engoron that Eric Trump, who was scheduled to testify on Wednesday, would no longer be part of the defense case, according to CNN. The defense is expected to finish its case after Trump’s testimony concludes next week.
Trump on Truth Social said he was behind Eric’s abrupt cancellation.
“I told my wonderful son, Eric, not to testify tomorrow at the RIGGED TRIAL brought about by A.G. Letitia James’ campaign promise that, without knowing anything about me, ‘I WILL GET TRUMP!’” Trump wrote Tuesday night. “She ran for A.G., then Governor of New York, and lost! Eric has already testified, PERFECTLY (Unlike their STAR witness-who admitted he lied!), so there is no reason to waste any more of this Crooked Court’s time on having him say the same thing, over and over again, as a witness for the defense (us!). His young life has already been unfairly disturbed and disrupted enough on this corrupt Witch Hunt. Besides, I will be testifying on Monday in this shameful, NO JURY ALLOWED ‘TRIAL.’”
Trump repeatedly lashed out at Engoron in a series of posts, claiming that the judge “should be sanctioned” and “thrown off the ‘bench.’”
Trump claimed to reporters on Tuesday that the gag order is in place because “they’re afraid to have me speak” even though the gag order only prevents him from targeting court staff, not the judge or the attorney general’s team nor from defending himself against the state’s claims.
“If Trump’s truly unconcerned about testifying while the NY gag orders in place, why did his lawyers ask Judge Engoron to postpone his testimony until his appeal of that gag order is resolved?” questioned MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin.
If Trump’s truly unconcerned about testifying while the NY gag order’s in place, why did his lawyers ask Judge Engoron to postpone his testimony until his appeal of that gag order is resolved? https://t.co/4utIwwpAsb
— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) December 6, 2023
Engoron, who already issued a summary judgment holding Trump liable for persistent fraud, imposed gag orders on Trump and his lawyers after they targeted his law clerk Allison Greenfield, who has been bombarded with hundreds of threatening and disparaging calls and messages, according to the court.
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Trump falsely accused Greenfield of being romantically involved with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and his attorneys have accused her of bias and influencing the judge’s rulings in the case.
The gag orders were briefly paused on appeal, leading to a flurry of new attacks from Trump before an appeals court reinstated the gag order last Thursday.
Engoron warned Trump’s team that he plans to enforce the order “rigorously and vigorously.”
Kise responded by calling it a “tragic day for the rule of law.”