Former White House attorney Ty Cobb says Trump might not testify again in civil fraud trial over fear of 'eviscerating cross-examination'

December 9, 2023
by
Ben Marquis

Former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial in New York remains ongoing and, in fact, Trump is scheduled to take the stand again on Monday to testify on his own behalf.

However, one of Trump's former White House attorneys, Ty Cobb, suggested there was a "50/50" chance that the former president would not testify again and was effectively finished in terms of his participation in the legal proceeding, according to The Hill.

Cobb has quite notably become an outspoken critic of the former president that he used to work for in the White House and provide advice to on legal matters.

Former attorney says Trump might not testify again

The former White House lawyer Cobb appeared on CNN with "Outfront" host Erin Burnett on Thursday and was asked to weigh in on how the civil fraud trial in New York was going as well as for his predictions on former President Trump's scheduled testimony on the stand on Monday.

"I'm not sure he will testify. I'd say it's still 50/50," Cobb said. "Because, as the lawyer in me says, 'You know, why put him on?'"

"I mean, he’s going to be subject to an eviscerating cross-examination, which won’t focus on what Trump wants to talk about, It’ll focus on every lie that he has told, in the 10 years that are relevant under these financial statements," he continued.

Cobb asserted that Trump had told "several whoppers" throughout the trial and that "there's a lot of material to work with" in terms of how "a talented, skillful prosecutor could cross-examine him in a way that will just eviscerate him."

Trump set to testify again on Monday

According to the Associated Press, former President Trump first took the stand on Nov. 6 to provide hours-long and contentious testimony during which he repeatedly clashed with the judge and prosecutors.

On that occasion, Trump had been called to testify as part of the prosecution's case but is now set to return to the stand on Dec. 11 as part of the defense team's case, which could provide him with more of an opportunity to discuss the things that he wants to talk about but have been ignored or rejected by the judge and prosecutors.

Trump, of course, was already found guilty and liable for fraud by Judge Arthur Engoron in an astonishing pre-trial verdict that sided with New York Attorney General Letitia James, who sued Trump and his family business over claims that the company inflated and manipulated the values of various assets and properties to obtain more favorable terms on bank loans and insurance coverage -- claims that Trump and his team have fervently denied.

Defense attorney Habba insists Trump will still testify

However, despite former White House attorney Cobb's prediction that former President Trump might not testify again as scheduled, not to mention the potential limitations of a reimposed gag order and discouragement from his own lawyers, The Hill reported separately that Trump's defense attorney Alina Habba told Fox News host Martha MacCallum that her client remained determined to take the stand again on Monday.

"I will say and I still say that having any client get on a stand with a gag order as limited or large as this is a First Amendment violation," Habba said. "And you should not respect the court and give them the opportunity to hear you. But, he is going to take the stand regardless and he will navigate it."

Prior to that, Habba clarified the discouragement from testifying was solely concerning the gag order, and explained, "I would never discourage the former president from testifying, because quite honestly, our plan up until now was to have him testify, he always wanted to testify and he should testify. When he has nothing to hide, it’s the best thing you could do is put this great witness on that is going to stand up and tell you the truth."

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