- The defense in Trump’s fraud trial begins Monday, with Donald Trump, Jr., once again taking the stand.
- The defense is also expected to call Donald J. Trump and Eric Trump to testify a second time.
- This risky strategy gives prosecutors an extra chance to question these key witnesses.
Because everything worked so well the first time.
Defense lawyers plan to call Donald Trump Jr. as the first witness in the civil fraud trial in New York on Monday, although his previous time on the stand was marked by an apparent oversight and the possibility of a spiral of civil sanctions.
His father and Eric Trump are also on the defense witness list, and they too are expected to take a second turn on the stand in the case, which seeks steep financial penalties and a permanent ban on the former president and his eldest sons to run a business in the state.
These three Trump boosters will double New York state’s fun, experts tell Insider.
Indeed, lawyers from the state attorney general’s office will be able to re-examine these main defendants and – since this time it will be a cross-examination rather than a direct interrogation – they will be able to do so according to rules significantly more advantageous.
“You can intensify the leading questions and the accusatory tone,” said Kenneth Foard McCallion, a former assistant attorney general in New York.
“It’s up to the judge to decide,” McCallion added, “but he will give the state a lot more leeway when it comes to cross country.”
“I would much rather thwart a Trump than question him directly,” agreed Tristan Snell, who was the lead assistant attorney general in charge of the state’s successful investigation of Trump University.
“On cross-examination, you can make a statement to the witness and ask, ‘Isn’t that right?’ “And they can only say yes, no, or I don’t remember,” Snell said.
“The witness has very little ability to deliver a monologue. Monologues will be direct, and even then the judge will likely interrupt them,” he said.
Monologues are a no-brainer, Snell predicted.
“Every time the Trumps take the stand, the main goal is to work the crowd with this whole martyr fundraising act – it’s like they’re holding out the hat, shaking it and hoping people would put more money into it.”
But Donald Trump, in particular, will also have important work to do on his return trip to the witness stand, beyond speeches about his “beautiful” real estate empire and the Democratic conspiracy he says is behind him. his kits.
The state has already won a major pretrial fraud verdict. The state must now prove that Donald Trump and executives of the Trump Organization, including his two eldest sons, intentionally conspired to break New York’s records tampering and insurance fraud laws.
Back on the stand, the elder Trump and his sons will continue to downplay their direct involvement in the annual net worth filings at the center of the fraud case, Snell and McCallion said.
This time, however, with six weeks of trial under their belt, the attorney general’s side has a wealth of evidence and testimony.
All three Trumps – Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump – have now given two pre-trial depositions as well as their actual trial testimony last month.
It’s hard to imagine being better prepared to cross-examine a witness than the attorney general’s lawyers will be when facing one, two, or even three Trumps in the coming days.
“It’s a second bite at the apple for the AG,” Snell said.
The state’s lawyers will almost certainly spend the weekend going through transcripts of direct interrogations of the three Trumps earlier this month, Snell said.
“They inevitably look at these transcripts with fresh eyes and inevitably think, ‘Ah! I should have asked that follow-up question,'” Snell said. “Now they have a second chance to ask that question.”
Despite the apparent drawbacks, waiting until now to question their clients appears to have been a calculated strategy on the part of the defense team, which opted not to cross-examine Trump’s father-son trio when the attorney General called them earlier this month.
The defense crossed paths with Ivanka Trump, a former vice president of the Trump Organization who is no longer charged in the case. Now she can opt out of the rest of the trial.
Donald Trump Jr. — as well as his father and brother if they testify again — will be highly prepared for the second round on the stand, said McCallion, author of several books about Donald Trump, including “Treason & Betrayal, the Rise “. and Fall of the individual -1.”
“They will do one or two rehearsals beforehand,” said McCallion, who is also a former federal prosecutor.
“All of this will be carefully prepared,” he said.
Yet Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump “seem to remain stubbornly resistant to the prep-and-trial strategy,” Snell said.
“I’m sure the lawyers will try to prepare them this weekend, but I’m not sure they will succeed,” he said. “These are the kind of clients it would be a nightmare to prepare for.”
One thing is likely, McCallion predicts: It will be two and it’s done.
“No one is going to want to hear any of the Trumps in this matter a third time, especially not the public,” he said.
“We are already well saturated with Trump talk from the Trump universe.”
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