Donald Trump made a voluntary appearance at his New York civil fraud trial and used it to complain that it is distracting from his campaign to reclaim the White House in 2024.
The former US president and frontrunner for the Republican nomination also took the occasion to criticize a limited gag order imposed by a Washington judge in a separate criminal trial related to his attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat.
Trump appeared in a New York court on Tuesday for the third week of a civil fraud trial which is centered on allegations that he inflated his net worth to secure more favorable loan terms.
The lawsuit by Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges Trump reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten savings by overstating the value of his properties in documents he provided to banks.
Donna Kidder, an accountant for the Trump Organization, resumed her testimony Tuesday, describing the organization’s internal bookkeeping practices and preparation of financial statements.
Trump has denied wrongdoing and defended the valuations of his properties, saying the case is a “fraud” and attacking both James and the judge overseeing the case.
Trump told reporters outside the courtroom that the true values of his assets including his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida were “close to 100 times” what James’ office claimed.