Donald Trump’s appeal of his gag order in his New York fraud trial is still pending and his attorneys are trying to keep him off the witness stand until the order forbidding him to attack the judge’s staff is off the table.
Currently, he’s scheduled to testify early next week.
Trump has already taken the stand once in this trial when he was questioned by the prosecution. This time around, he’ll be testifying for the defense, but his attorney, Chris Kise, made a last-ditch effort on Tuesday to delay that questioning.
After Trump began attacking Judge Arthur Engoron’s clerk, he was hit with a gag order that he’s currently appealing, forbidding him to make public comments about her or other members of Engoron’s staff.
His recent attempt to escalate and speed along that appeal failed, and his lawyers seem uncertain about letting him testify before that’s settled.
When Kise requested a delay, keeping Trump off the stand until after the appeal is completed, Engoron gave the state a chance for input, then gave a firm refusal.
From the courtroom, Adam Klasfeld reported that Engoron said:
“Absolutely not. No way. No how. It’s a nonstarter.”
He added that he had “given it a deep thought” before rejecting the request.
On Tuesday, the defense brought in a Trump associate to argue that Mar-a-Lago would be worth much more if valued as a private residence, despite the judge already rejecting the notion that the property could be valued so, rather than as a business.
On Wednesday, Eric Trump was to take the stand again, but after Judge Engoron denied a delay in his father’s testimony, he canceled his appearance. Legal analysts have interpreted the move as another delay tactic from the Trump defense team.
Thursday and Friday, the defense is to call an accounting expert. Then, on Monday, it will be Donald Trump’s turn, according to NBC.