A New York court rejected an attempt to delay his testimony in his family’s $250m (£202m) fraud trial next week on the grounds that he needed to be with his children during the school week.
Trump’s lawyers argued that she would suffer “undue hardship” if she had to take the stand while her daughter Arabella, 12, and sons Joseph, 10, and Theodore, 7, were “in the middle of a school week.”
It’s just the latest attempt by Trump, 42, to challenge an order by Judge Arthur Engordon to appear before the state Supreme Court in midtown Manhattan next Wednesday.
She was dismissed as a defendant in the case after a court ruled that claims related to her involvement in the Trump business empire were outside the statute of limitations.
Her lawyer, Bennett Moskowitz, already challenged a New York civil court’s jurisdiction over her.
“Mrs. Trump, who resides in Florida with her three minor children, will suffer undue hardship if … she is required to testify at a trial in New York in the middle of a school week,” Moskowitz said in a later filing Thursday.
He attempted to block Mrs. Trump’s testimony until an appeal could be heard and pause the entire fraud trial while it was underway.
But the request was quickly denied in a one-sentence ruling by the New York appeals court late Thursday.
Trump’s two brothers, Donald Jr., 45, and Eric, 39, who helped run their father’s business empire during his presidency, were questioned from the witness stand in the case over the past two days.
The civil case has been initiated by the New York attorney general, who alleges that the Trump Organization inflated its assets by billions of dollars to secure better loans and insurance deals.
James is seeking a $250 million fine and a ban on Trump and his children from working as executives in New York.
Leaving the courthouse on Friday, Eric Trump said his father was “excited” to take the stand on Monday. It will be the first time he testifies in any of the current civil and criminal cases he faces as he prepares his 2024 presidential campaign.
Both brothers told the court they relied on the input of experts hired to sign the financial statements that James said were fraudulent.
“We have done absolutely nothing wrong,” Eric Trump told reporters. “We have a better company than they ever imagined.”
He said his father was looking forward to defending himself in court. “I know he’s very excited to be here,” she said.
The former president, 77, said his children were being “persecuted” by prosecutors.
“I call them hostages, not prisoners”
He was not present at his testimony, but instead held a rally in Texas, where he described people imprisoned for attempting to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 as “hostages.”
The use of the term is especially emotive in the context of the conflict in Gaza, with 10 Americans still missing and several more believed to be held by Hamas.
At least 378 people have been jailed for their role in the Capitol riot. The courts have imposed harsh sentences on many of those involved.
On Friday, a Marine Corps veteran who served as a State Department political appointee in the Trump administration was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for attacking police officers during the riot.
Federico Klein “waged a relentless siege on police officers” as he tried to enter the Capitol and prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory over Trump, prosecutors said in a court filing.
At a rally in Houston a day earlier, Trump said: “I call them hostages, not prisoners, the hostages. I call them the hostages, what happened? And you know, it’s a shame.”
Trump, who faces 17 federal and state charges in connection with his attempt to overturn the election, has frequently supported jailed rioters.
His rallies regularly feature the “J6 choir,” a group of men convicted for their role in the January 6 riots, singing “Justice for All.”
The song was released on multiple streaming platforms in March. It shows Trump reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the imprisoned men singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the US national anthem.
He claimed on Thursday night that the song had surpassed Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus on the charts. “We eliminated them for a long time,” she said.
More than 1,000 people have been charged in connection with the assault on the Capitol. Four participants died during the chaos and five police officers died afterwards, some of them by suicide.
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