Trump fraud trial live updates: Defense rests its case, makes 5th motion to end trial

In a significant civil lawsuit taking place in New York, the ex-President, Donald Trump, is currently facing trial. This lawsuit has the potential to bring about substantial changes to both his wealth and his extensive real estate empire, which played a crucial role in his journey to the presidency.

Accusations have been made by New York Attorney General Letitia James against Trump, his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., as well as other high-ranking executives of the Trump Organization. These individuals are alleged to have participated in a scheme spanning over a decade, employing various fraudulent and deceptive practices to artificially inflate Trump’s net worth. The purpose of this manipulation was to secure more favourable loan terms. Following a partial summary judgment by the presiding judge, it was determined that Trump had provided “fraudulent valuations” for his assets. As a result, the trial will now focus on uncovering additional actions taken by the defendants and determining the appropriate penalties, if any.

Trump’s legal team has vigorously defended the former president, maintaining his innocence and asserting that any claims of exaggerated valuations are simply a testament to his exceptional business acumen.

Recent Updates
At 3:32 PM on December 12th,

The defence concludes its presentation and submits a fifth motion to bring the trial to a close.
The defence team representing Donald Trump concluded their presentation in the civil fraud trial involving the former president, while New York Attorney General Letitia James observed the proceedings from the gallery.

Before wrapping up their case, defence attorneys attended to various administrative matters, such as including expert reports in the trial documentation “to use them for potential appeals.

With a deadpan expression, Judge Engoron humorously remarked, “You’ll be filing an appeal,” before bursting into laughter.

The defence’s case was prolonged due to the constant bickering between both parties, as they engaged in heated arguments over insignificant matters.

“The desire is not for an extension of time, but rather for the conclusion of the case,” expressed state attorney Kevin Wallace.

After completing all necessary tasks, Chris Kise, the attorney representing Trump, declared, “Our work here is done.” Following this statement, he proceeded to present the defence’s fifth request for a directed verdict, signalling their desire to bring the case to a close. Kise also mentioned his intention to submit a written motion on Friday.
Judge Engoron swiftly rejected the notion, declaring, “I refuse to grant that. Your efforts would be futile.

Wallace derided Kise’s proposal to present a written motion as “foolish” and an “enormous squandering of valuable assets.

Regarding Engoron’s pretrial ruling, Wallace confidently stated, “We have already emerged triumphant through summary judgment.” Expressing confusion, he questioned the need for any pretence or illusion surrounding the current situation.

At 2:39 PM on December 12th,
The New York Attorney General was present for the finalization of the defence’s presentation.
Attending the afternoon session of Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial is New York Attorney General Letitia James.

During the intermission, James made a brief visit to Judge Engoron’s chambers before returning to the gallery with her staff as the trial resumed.

In a separate meeting, Alina Habba, the legal spokesperson for Trump, was observed entering the judge’s chambers.

The court proceedings continued as the defence attorneys proceeded with their redirect examination of Eli Bartov, an expert in accounting.

It is anticipated that Bartov will conclude the defence’s presentation as their final witness, signalling the impending conclusion of their case. Subsequently, the state will probably present a concise rebuttal case.

At 12:40 PM on December 12th,
The previous testimony of the defence expert has been brought to attention by the state, who deems it unconvincing.
To undermine the credibility of the defence’s accounting expert, state attorney Louis Solomon emphasized that Eli Bartov’s testimony was dismissed by a judge during his role as an expert witness for the New York attorney general in the Exxon Mobil trial of 2019.

According to Solomon’s interpretation of the ruling read aloud in court, the judge concluded that Bartov’s testimony presented during the trial lacked persuasiveness and directly contradicted the substantial evidence.

Bartov claimed to not know about the ruling, while defence attorney Chris Kise objected to the questioning, deeming it irrelevant.

During the morning’s two-hour cross-examination, Bartov remained steadfast in his initial testimony, upholding his overall conclusion. However, he did concede that his analysis revealed a few minor exaggerations in Trump’s statements, which ultimately had no significant effect on Deutsche Bank’s loan extension decision.

Although Bartov concurred with the notion that in the realm of real estate, the price is established before the valuation, he found no substantiation for the attorney general’s claim that Trump’s statements were strategically crafted to justify the values determined by Trump and his team.

Solomon inquired about the possibility of reverse engineering.

Bartov replied, stating that he lacked any knowledge on the matter.

Eric Trump, much like his father, was originally scheduled to testify during the defense’s case in Bartov’s trial. However, he opted out of providing his testimony and instead made an unexpected appearance in the courtroom gallery while Bartov was on the stand.

At 12:27 PM on December 12th,
The reason behind Trump’s choice to abstain from testifying is attributed to a restricted gag order that he cites.
In a recent social media update, Donald Trump asserted his desire to provide testimony on Monday. However, he cited the trial’s restrictive gag order as the reason for his decision not to testify. This order specifically prohibits Trump from making any comments regarding Judge Engoron’s staff.

Citing the robustness of his evidence and prior testimonies, Trump justified his decision to withdraw from testifying on Sunday.

Today, Trump expressed his frustration with the actions of Judge Arthur Engoron, who imposed a gag order on him. This order restricts Trump’s ability to freely and honestly express himself, thereby infringing upon his constitutional right to defend himself. While an appeal is underway, Trump posed a thought-provoking question: How would anyone feel if they were a witness and unable to exercise their right to speak openly and honestly?

Trump attorney Chris Kise, in a statement to ABC News on Monday, cited the restricted gag order as a contributing factor to his client’s choice to abstain from testifying.

Kise expressed that there is truly no additional commentary needed when faced with a Judge who has enforced an unconstitutional restriction on speech and seemingly disregarded the testimonies of President Trump and all other individuals involved in the intricate financial transactions central to the case.

According to a recent court filing, the attorney representing Engoron argued that the imposed gag order has its limitations. It specifically does not prohibit making statements about Justice Engoron himself, as well as the Attorney General and her staff. Furthermore, it does not restrict discussion on the claims, allegations, facts, evidence, witness testimony, judicial process, or any other aspect related to the underlying action.

The authors of this passage are Peter Charalambous and Soo Rin Kim.

At 10:44 AM on December 12th,
The attorney representing Trump has made a claim that the state is deliberately withholding witnesses.
Despite objections from Trump attorney Chris Kise, Judge Arthur Engoron has granted permission for the New York attorney general to present two witnesses during the state’s rebuttal case after the defense concludes its case.

Arguing against the decision, Kise claimed that the government has withheld these witnesses.

Although state attorney Kevin Wallace asserted that their two rebuttal witnesses, Cornell professor Eric Lewis and former Trump Organization executive Kevin Sneddon, would solely reiterate arguments already presented in court, Kise contended that these witnesses would serve to supplement evidence that the defense team would not have the opportunity to thoroughly address.

Accusing the state of engaging in “gamesmanship,” Kise stated that their actions were not a mere rebuttal, but rather an attempt to fill a void by withholding evidence.

Despite Kise’s argument, Engoron remained unconvinced and decided to allow the witnesses to testify.

Engoron expressed his belief that there is no justification for denying the opportunity for these two self-proclaimed authorities to provide testimony.

As a countermeasure, the defense attorneys for Trump indicated the possibility of introducing an extra witness subsequent to the state’s rebuttal case.

At 9:39 AM on December 12th,
The defense team representing Trump is anticipated to conclude their arguments and rest their case today.
Today marks the conclusion of Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial as his legal team, after an extensive four-week presentation of testimony, is set to rest their case.

As Trump is no longer slated to testify in his own defense, the final witness for Trump will be Eli Bartov, an accounting professor from New York University.

Continuing his cross-examination today, Bartov can anticipate inquiries regarding discrepancies and potential partiality in his evaluation of Trump’s financial records. Compensated at a rate of $1,350 per hour for a total of 650 hours, Bartov disclosed last week that he received remuneration from both the Trump Organization and Trump’s Save America PAC.

During his recent testimony, Bartov vigorously supported Trump’s assertions regarding his financial status and the documents that are the focal point of the New York attorney general’s case. Bartov confidently stated that he discovered “absolutely no proof of any fraudulent accounting.” Additionally, Bartov contended that the banks that provided loans to Trump did not consider the documents to be of much importance, as they relied on their own evaluations to determine whether or not to grant the loans.

According to Bartov, it is utterly illogical and nonsensical to suggest that Deutsche Bank or any other financial institution would base their lending decisions on financial statements. This statement should unequivocally put an end to this case.

At 5:05 PM on December 10th,
The trial will continue on Tuesday.
The civil fraud trial involving Donald Trump is set to continue on Tuesday, as the former president recently declared that he would not be testifying in his own defense on Monday.

In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, New York Attorney General Letitia James declared that Donald Trump has already provided testimony in the ongoing financial fraud case against him. Regardless of whether or not Trump chooses to testify again tomorrow, the evidence presented thus far has undeniably demonstrated his involvement in extensive financial fraud and his unjust enrichment of both himself and his family. Despite any attempts to divert attention away from the truth, the facts remain steadfast and undeniable.

On Tuesday, the trial will proceed with the defense’s accounting expert, Eli Bartov, facing cross-examination. Following Bartov’s completion of testimony, it is anticipated that Trump’s defense will conclude its case.

The legal representatives for the attorney general of New York intend to deliver a concise counterargument, potentially wrapping up as soon as Tuesday.

The conclusion of the case is set for January 11th, when the closing arguments will be presented. It is anticipated that a written verdict will be delivered towards the end of January.

At 3:54 PM on December 10th,
The scheduled testimony of Trump on Monday has been canceled.
In a statement released on Sunday, the former president, Donald Trump, announced that he will not be proceeding with his intention to testify in his civil fraud trial.

On social media, Trump made it clear that he will not be providing testimony on Monday, punctuating his statement with the rallying cry of “MAGA!

As justification for his decision not to testify, Trump pointed to the testimony provided by his expert witnesses, the inclusion of his “ironclad disclaimer clause,” and his claim of bias on the part of the presiding judge.

He expressed that he has already provided testimony on all relevant matters and has no further comments, except to emphasize that this constitutes a comprehensive and absolute interference in the election.

Scheduled to make a courtroom appearance on Monday, the ex-president had previously provided testimony in the state’s legal proceedings.

At 1:52 PM on December 8th,
The accounting expert will continue their duties following Trump’s testimony on Monday.
On Tuesday, there will be a continuation of the court proceedings involving Eli Bartov, an accounting professor at New York University. His testimony, which was initially anticipated to be brief, extended beyond the allotted time for direct examination.

Following the completion of Bartov’s direct examination, the cross-examination was initiated by state attorney Louis Solomon. However, both parties reached a consensus to adjourn for the day and continue the cross-examination in the following week.

Monday’s proceedings will feature Donald Trump as the sole witness.

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