Letitia James asks court to dismiss Trump witnesses

November 9, 2023

As Donald Trump prepares his defense in his New York civil fraud trial, Attorney General Letitia James wants some key witnesses tossed out. 

James, a Democrat, is urging Judge Arthur Engoron to dismiss four experts in real estate and accounting, who are expected to counter James' accusation that Trump inflated his assets.

The court does not need to hear "irrelevant" testimony from Steven Laposa, Jason Flemmons, Steve Witkoff, and David Miller, James said. 

James' desperate move

She pointed to Engoron's September ruling that Trump committed fraud, which "narrowed" the matters at issue. 

“Based on the Court’s Decision, Plaintiff’s affirmative case has been appropriately narrowed to establishing the Defendants’ intent to defraud, the amount of disgorgement, and facts bearing on Plaintiff’s entitlement to the forms of equitable relief not already awarded by the Court," she wrote.

James also said that two of Trump's experts were called rebuttal witnesses, but their testimony was unnecessary because the witnesses they were meant to refute were never called.

Trump's iconic business empire is at stake in the $250 million civil fraud trial, the result of a years-long investigation by James.

Trump begins defense next week

Over the past week, the court heard from Donald Trump and three of his children, Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr. Ivanka was originally a defendant in the case but was dropped.

The court is likely to hear again from members of Trump's family when the defense begins to make its case on Monday.

During defiant, combative testimony on Monday, President Trump blasted James as a "political hack" and slammed the judge - who showed flashes of temper throughout and even rapped his hand on a table - for going along with a "fraud."

Trump asserted that James has "no case" because Trump's financial statements actually underestimated his net worth. The banks were paid back in full and never complained, Trump said.

The judge has already ruled that Trump committed fraud, however. The trial, which is expected to wrap up around Christmas time, will decide the penalty Trump receives.

Trump's lawyers asked for the case to be tossed out Thursday, saying James had failed to prove her case.

“There’s no victim. There’s no complainant. There’s no injury. All of that is established now by the evidence,” Trump lawyer Christopher Kise said.

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