Donald Trump is planning a return to the civil fraud trial against him in New York next week to observe the testimony of his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who is scheduled to take the stand as a government witness, according to two people familiar with the matter.
(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump is planning a return to the civil fraud trial against him in New York next week to observe the testimony of his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who is scheduled to take the stand as a government witness, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Cohen, who served time in prison for tax evasion and has become a staunch critic of the former president, is expected to testify Oct. 17-18 in state court in Manhattan. The trial, in its second week, could last months and is playing out as Trump campaigns to return to the White House.
The lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, which claims Trump inflated the value of his assets by billions of dollars a year to dupe banks into giving him better terms on loans, is rooted in public statements Cohen made after falling out with Trump while he was still president. Trump denies the state’s allegations.
A showdown with Cohen would add more drama to a trial that already drew headlines last week when Trump unexpectedly showed up for the first three days of the proceeding. He treated it like a campaign event, issuing blistering commentary about James and the judge during courtroom breaks and falsely blaming President Joe Biden for the lawsuit.
“It’s been five years since we have seen one another,” Cohen said in a text Thursday. “Assuming I am even on to testify next week, I look forward to the reunion. I hope Donald does as well.”
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Last week, Trump dropped a separate $500 million lawsuit against Cohen, who the former president accused of violating their attorney-client bond and spreading “embarrassing or detrimental” lies. The case was voluntarily dismissed just before Trump was set to be deposed. Cohen has previously said he’s eager to see his former boss in court.
Trump is expected to eventually testify in New York’s civil fraud case, having appeared on witness lists for both the state and the defense. His sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who are also defendants in the suit, will also testify. His daughter Ivanka Trump, who won dismissal from the suit, is on the state’s witness list.
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(Updates with comment from Cohen.)
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