Donald Trump's civil fraud trial to continue despite lawyers' attempt to end proceedings


Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial will continue despite an attempt by his lawyers to end legal proceedings, a judge has ruled.

The judge did not rule on the request but indicated that the trial will go on as scheduled on Monday with the former President returning to give evidence as the first defense witness.

Mr Trump's lawyers had asked Judge Arthur Engoron to cut the trial short and issue a verdict clearing Mr Trump, his company and top executives including Mr Trump Jr of wrongdoing.

They argued that state lawyers had failed to prove their case at the halfway point of the trial.

New York attorney general Letitia James alleges that Mr Trump and other defendants duped banks, insurers and others by inflating his wealth on financial statements.

In seeking to short-circuit the case, Mr Trump's lawyer Christopher Kise argued that state lawyers had failed to meet "any legal standard" to prove allegations of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records.

“There's no victim. There's no complainant. There's no injury. All of that is established now by the evidence,” Mr Kise argued.

State lawyer Kevin Wallace responded that there was no basis to end the trial, saying the evidence is “more than sufficient to continue to final verdict”.

The former President’s lawyers have asked Justice Engoron for a "directed verdict," which is a finding that no one could reasonably rule in favour of the opposing party.

The request is unlikely to be granted as the Judge has already found that Trump and 10 of his businesses committed persistent fraud. However, his ruling covered only one of the seven fraud counts Trump faces.

Ivanka Trump gave evidence to the trial on Wednesday, spending five hours being grilled on her role within the Trump Organisation, her father’s finances, and the values placed on his property empire.

The trial has been punctuated by clashes between Mr Trump and his lawyers and Judge Arthur Engoron, who dismissed objections to allow Ivanka to be questioned about emails she had sent to husband Jared Kushner where she had shared details of Trump Organisation loan deals.

Ivanka calmly dealt with the questions, telling the court: “My husband also was in real estate. Periodically we would discuss what we were working on.”

The former president himself stayed away from the courtroom for his daughter’s evidence, and also swerved the latest televised clash between the 2024 Republican nomination candidates in Florida.