In an unexpected turn of events, former President Donald Trump announced that he will not be testifying in the ongoing $250 million civil fraud trial against him, a case that has stretched over several months and is now approaching its final stages.
This declaration came just a night before Trump was scheduled to appear as a key defense witness in the trial. Trump's decision was communicated through a series of emphatic, all-caps messages on his social media platform, Truth Social, on Sunday night.
In these messages, Trump vehemently disputed the valuation of his Mar-a-Lago property, claiming it was grossly underestimated to fabricate a case against him. He argued that the property was worth exponentially more than the stated $18 million, alleging similar undervaluations were made on other properties.
Additionally, Trump expressed his frustration over not being granted a jury trial and accused New York Attorney General Letitia James and her team of ignoring the substantial taxes he has paid over the years.
Trump Refutes Valuations
Trump's post read: "THEY CLAIMED THAT MAR-A-LAGO WAS WORTH ONLY $18,000,000, WHEN IT IS WORTH 50 TO 100 TIMES THAT AMOUNT...THE A.G.
THUGS DO NOT WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE PAID ALMOST 300 MILLION DOLLARS IN NEW YORK CITY & STATE TAXES...BASED ON THE ABOVE...I WILL NOT BE TESTIFYING ON MONDAY. MAGA!" In his statement, Trump also mentioned a recent ruling by the appellate division, which he believes largely nullifies the case against him.
He criticized the judge for not adhering to this ruling and cited the compelling testimony of his final expert witness as a reason for his decision not to testify. Reacting to Trump's announcement, Attorney General Letitia James remarked, "Whether or not Trump testifies again tomorrow, we have already proven that he committed years of financial fraud and unjustly enriched himself and his family.
No matter how much he tries to distract from reality, the facts don’t lie." This latest development adds another layer of complexity to a case that has been closely watched by the public and media alike. Trump's refusal to testify could have significant implications for the trial's outcome and continues to fuel the ongoing debate surrounding his financial dealings and business practices.