This week was supposed to be THE week of the New York City civil fraud case brought by Attorney General Letitia James.
December 11 had been named as the date that his Defense team would put him on the stand; however, Trump broke the news this weekend that he would NOT be testifying.
Trump had already taken the stand once, and his attorneys apparently felt that he had stated everything he needed to say.
So, it was decided that there was "no valid reason" for him to retake the stand.
After the announcement was made, Attorney General Letitia James stated:
"Donald Trump already testified in our financial fraud case against him.
"Whether or not Trump testified again tomorrow, we have already proven that he committed years of financial fraud and unjustly enriched himself and his family. No matter how much he tries to distract from reality, the facts don't lie."
The decision for Trump not to testify was influenced by the gag order not being lifted against Trump. Attorney Alina Habba explained:
"He still wants to take the stand even though my advice is at this point you should never take the stand with a gag order. But he is so firmly against what is happening in this court."
Attorney Chris Kise added:
"There is really nothing more to say to a Judge who has imposed an unconstitutional gag order and thus far appears to have ignored President Trump's testimony and that of everyone else involved in the complex financial transactions at issue in the case."
With Donald Trump no longer testifying, we expect this trial to conclude by the end of this week.
While we have stated many times that we believe Judge Engoron has already made up his mind, he will probably not release his final decision in the case until after the New Year.
However, There is little doubt that Engoron had made up his mind long before this trial started.
If you recall, Engoron had issued a partial summary judgment to have Trump's business license revoked and his assets liquidated just before the case went to court, so the decision seems to be a mere formality.
The good news for Trump is that the Engoron order was delayed by an appeals court, which stopped the order from going into effect until the trial had concluded and a verdict was given.
That gave Trump's business interests a reprieve, but I believe it also gave us an idea of how the appeals court was viewing the case itself.
If Engoron gives the expected ruling, Trump's team will immediately file an appeal, which will further delay any ruling issued by Engoron from going into effect.
Based on the valuations that the Attorney General's office used, I have always felt confident that this would be overturned on appeal.
Trump may get hit with a fine of some sort, but I don't see the full award that James' office wanted being enforced, and I surely do not see Trump's business license in New York being revoked when this issue is finally put to bed.