OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
In what is one of the most anticipated events of the many trials of former President Donald Trump, perhaps the most massive is on the horizon.
The former president is set to take the stand on Monday in his New York fraud trial brought by the state’s Attorney General Letitia James.
“Next week, Donald Trump himself will take the stand,” James said in a video shared on X, formerly Twitter.
“And while I am sure he will try to hide his wrongdoing behind taunts, threats and name-calling, we will not be bullied out of uncovering the truth,” she said.
Many in the mainstream media have predicted that the testimony will paint the former president in a negative light.
“Donald Trump is set to testify in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday in the $250 million civil fraud case that threatens to unravel the sweeping real estate empire and business bona fides the former president relied upon in his unlikely ascent to the White House,” a story in U.S. News and World Report said.
“Beyond having a former president testify under oath, Trump taking the stand in his civil trial creates an unusual situation – one in which his bombastic nature and tendency to misrepresent will be constrained,” it said.
As for James, she has made a habit of attacking the former president as he is limited by a gag order in the case
In October, James responded to comments Trump made outside a Manhattan courtroom following the second day of her civil fraud trial against him, labeling them as “baseless” and “offensive.”
In remarks to reporters, she claimed that Trump “fomented violence” with remarks that amounted to “race-baiting” while complaining that his statements appeal to the “bottom of our humanity.” She then accused him and his companies of engaging in a “pattern and practice of fraud.”
“I will not be bullied,” she said at one point. “Mr. Trump is no longer here. The Donald Trump show is over.”
She went on to dismiss his remarks as a “political stunt” organized by the former president.
At another point during his remarks, Trump discussed whether he would testify in his own civil trial in a case filed against him and his sons and companies by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Trump said that he will take the stand during the $250 million civil trial “at the appropriate time,” Newsmax reported.
The former president is on the witness lists for himself and for the prosecution.
“Yes, I will” testify at the trial, Trump told reporters in remarks during the lunch break on day two of the trial Tuesday. “At the appropriate time, I will be,” he added.
“I think it’s going very well,” he continued after being asked to assess the trial thus far.
“There was absolutely no fraud,” Trump said, going on to criticize James as being corrupt. “They all made money. They’re all happy, 100% happy.”
Trump also reiterated his previous statement regarding the fact that his accountants always added a disclaimer of “buyer beware” at the end of his financial statements.
“It says, ‘Please, you must understand that you have to do your own due diligence and you have to, above all, do your own research and analysis: Do not rely on anything; do not rely on the financial statements,’” Trump added. “Also, the financial statements are very strong in terms of cash liquidity and everything else.
“This case is a scam. There can’t be fraud when you’ve told institutions to do their own work. This case is a fraud and scam.”
In the courtroom, Judge Arthur Engoron set the record straight about a comment that the ex-president had touted as an important victory.
Engoron had suggested Monday that testimony about Trump’s 2011 financial statement might be beyond the legal time limit applicable to James’ lawsuit. It alleges that Trump and his business chronically lied about his wealth on financial statements given to banks, insurers and others.