Trump plans to deliver a closing argument at his civil fraud trial, AP sources say

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media Tuesday at a Washington hotel. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump aims to deliver his own closing argument Thursday in his New York civil business fraud trial in addition to his legal team’s summations, according to two people familiar with the highly unusual plan.

Trump is a defendant in the case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. She claims his net worth was inflated by billions of dollars on financial statements that helped him secure business loans and insurance.


An attorney for Trump informed Judge Arthur Engoron earlier this week that the former president wished to speak during the closing arguments, and the judge approved the plan, according to one of the two people who spoke to The Associated Press.

Both persons who confirmed the plan did so on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose the information to reporters.

The Trump campaign and a spokesperson for James declined to comment.

The former president and current Republican front-runner denies any wrongdoing, and he has condemned the case during a peppery day of testimony, on social media and in verbal comments in the courthouse hallway. In recent days on his Truth Social platform, he called the case a “hoax,” dismissed the months-long proceedings as a “pathetic excuse for a trial” and criticized the judge and attorney general, both Democrats.

But delivering a summation would be another matter.

Although some people represent themselves, it’s very uncommon for defendants personally to give summations if they have attorneys to do so. Trump has several, and he isn’t a lawyer himself.

ABC News first reported Trump’s plan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email