Trump says he will testify 'at the appropriate time' in New York civil fraud trial

Trump says he will testify 'at the appropriate time' in New York civil fraud trial

'There was absolutely no fraud,' former president says on second day trial

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he will testify as part of an ongoing civil fraud trial that could see his business operations come to a halt in New York.

Asked if he would take the stand in the non-jury trial, Trump said: "Yes, I will. At the appropriate time I will be."

"I think it's going very well," Trump said at the New York courthouse where proceedings are taking place. "The assets are much more valuable as opposed to less valuable than earlier statements."

"There was absolutely no fraud," he added.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million in damages as part of a lawsuit tied to Trump and his organization's business practices, alleging that they systemically overvalued their assets to enrich themselves.

Trump, who is voluntarily attending the trial, has alleged that the case is politically motivated and is part of efforts to hamper his 2024 election prospects, and he has sought to discredit the presiding judge as being a "rogue" who is biased against him, and calling James a "racist."

New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing the case, ruled in late September that Trump and his company committed repeated acts of fraud for years.

Engoron found that Trump and his company deceived banks by submitting “fraudulent valuations” for assets that were then used by himself, his sons and his business to secure better loan and insurance terms.

The judge immediately canceled all of Trump and his co-defendants' business certificates in New York and ordered that they must recommend no more than three potential independent receivers to manage the dissolution of the canceled limited liability companies within 10 days.

Trump's legal team said they plan to appeal.

“For years, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth to enrich himself and cheat the system. We won the foundation of our case last week and proved that his purported net worth has long been rooted in incredible fraud," James said in a statement Monday.

"In this country, there are consequences for this type of persistent fraud, and we look forward to demonstrating the full extent of his fraud and illegality during trial," she added.

Engoron will now rule on six other claims brought by James' office in the lawsuit. It also seeks a ban on Trump doing business in the state where he made his brand as a high-profile real estate developer.

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