According to people familiar with Trump’s plans, the former president anticipates being present for at least the opening day of the civil trial that will pit him and his business against New York Attorney General Letitia James. On Monday, the trial will begin.
Trump’s strategy was initially made public in a court document pertaining to a different legal proceeding, his lawsuit against Michael Cohen, his former lawyer and fixer. In it, the Cohen case’s judge claimed that Trump had asked to change a scheduled deposition for October 3 because he intended to attend the trial’s first week.
According to the sources, Trump anticipates being present for at least Monday’s events.
According to the Cohen case document, Trump made his choice soon after Judge Arthur Engoron, who will preside over the trial, found that he and the corporation were guilty of fraud.
“Plaintiff represented that it was imperative that he attend his New York trial in person—at least for each day of the first week of trial when many strategy judgments had to be made,” the judge in Cohen’s case wrote. “Now that pretrial rulings have been entered in the case that materially altered the landscape.”
Trump was questioned about his plans to attend the trial on Monday during a campaign trip in California on Friday.
Trump responded, “I may, I may. What an outrage. This city is completely rigged; everything about it is. All of it is now rigged.
Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, filed a lawsuit in September 2022 against Trump, two of his children, and his business. They were charged by her office of committing years of fraud and greatly inflating the worth of many of Trump’s properties and his wealth on financial documents. On Tuesday, Engoron concluded that while seeking bank loans, Trump overstated his own worth by billions and overpriced the properties by hundreds of millions of dollars. The impending trial will now center on additional claims in the complaint concerning falsifying financial statements, issuing false financial statements, conspiring, and falsifying business documents.
A court spokesperson, Lucian Chalfen, stated, “We are ready for any situation. Court staff members have been on high alert, and they have been advised to be on guard both within the courthouse and when patrolling the grounds.
Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, was not available for comment. Requests for reaction from a Trump campaign representative went unanswered.
This article’s contributor was Zachary Hudak.