Former President Donald Trump has decided he will not testify as planned on Monday in his New York civil fraud trial.

Former President Donald Trump has decided he will not testify as planned on Monday in his New York civil fraud trial.

Trump was previously called to testify on Nov. 6 by lawyers for New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office has accused him, two of his sons and their company of a decade-long fraud scheme designed to benefit themselves by hundreds of millions by getting unusually good terms on loans and insurance. That day, he clashed with the judge, Arthur Engoron, while answering many questions with long, rambling diatribes.

He was expected to be his team’s final witness. The state has indicated it intends to call a pair of witnesses to rebut testimony by real estate and accounting experts called in Trump’s defense.

His attorney, Christopher Kise, said in a statement that the former president had “already testified” and “there is really nothing more to say to a Judge who has imposed an unconstitutional gag order and thus far appears to have ignored President Trump’s testimony and that of everyone else involved in the complex financial transactions at issue in the case.”

“Donald Trump already testified in our financial fraud case against him,” James said on Sunday evening. “Whether or not Trump testifies again tomorrow, we have already proven that he committed years of financial fraud and unjustly enriched himself and his family. No matter how much he tries to distract from reality, the facts don’t lie.”

Although his last appearance on the stand was on Nov. 6, Trump returned to the New York courtroom on Dec. 7 as his defense team questioned Eli Bartov, who is expected to be their final expert witness.

A spokesperson for the court told CBS News on Sunday night that proceedings will be adjourned Monday. Bartov is expected to conclude his testimony Tuesday.

After the final witnesses are called, the two sides will have more than three weeks to submit written filings to the judge, before meeting again for closing arguments on Jan. 11. Engoron has indicated his final ruling is likely to be issued weeks later.

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Our country and its institutions are at a crossroads.

It’s been over two years since former President Donald Trump stoked the flames of insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and attempted to prevent the peaceful transition of power on January 6, 2021. Despite two unprecedented impeachments and multiple indictments, Donald Trump is set to appear on the ballot once more as he runs for a second term in the highest office in the land.

Now, voters are taking accountability into their own hands by taking the former President to court to bar him from the Colorado ballot.

We must safeguard our elections from bad actors who attempt to undermine the will of the people and disintegrate our democracy. There must be consequences for insurrection and political violence — especially ahead of another massively important presidential election.

Anderson v. Griswold was initially filed in September on behalf of six Colorado voters by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government accountability and advocacy organization, and Martha Tierney, Common Cause’s National Governing Board Chair and member of the Colorado Common Cause State Advisory Board. The lawsuit seeks to disqualify former President Donald Trump from office by enforcing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits those who violate their oaths of office by engaging in insurrection from holding public office.

During the post-Civil War Reconstruction period, Congress drafted Section 3 to disqualify from public office anyone who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and subsequently engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States. At the time, Southern states were electing former Confederate officials to federal positions, so Congress acted to ensure unapologetic insurrectionists could not hold public office. Several officials were removed from office due to their roles in the Confederacy, until Congress ultimately passed an Amnesty Act in 1872 that restored the political power of former Confederates, as part of the breakdown of Reconstruction.

The first successful enforcement of Section 3 in over 150 years occurred last year when a New Mexico court ruled that Couy Griffin, a New Mexico county commissioner, engaged in the January 6 insurrection. Upon the judge’s ruling that Griffin was disqualified, he was promptly removed from office

Just a few weeks ago, Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace ruled that former President Donald Trump “engaged in an insurrection” on January 6, 2021, within the meaning of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. This is a historic ruling as a presidential candidate has never been found to have engaged in insurrection in our nation’s history. However, the judge stopped short of removing Trump from the Colorado ballot, finding that the authors of the 14th Amendment did not intend for the “disqualification clause” to apply to presidents.

The case is now on appeal in the Colorado Supreme Court.

Following this ruling, Colorado Common Cause and former Colorado Secretary of State Mary Estill Buchanan filed an amicus brief in the Colorado Supreme Court asserting that former President Donald Trump should be excluded from the ballot under the 14th Amendment for his role in the January 6th insurrection.

Specifically, Common Cause’s amicus brief urges that the Court affirm the findings of the District Court that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection against the Constitution of the United States, and that the Court reverse the finding that the disqualification clause does not apply to the presidency.

The crossroads we now face are whether or not we preserve or erode the rule of law in the United States. Either the plain mandates of our Constitution will be honored and enforced, or they will be subverted. There is no third future — it would be a grave error to pretend otherwise.

The Court must embrace its role as an active defender of our Constitution’s mandates, or those mandates will begin to crumble under the intense pressure that they will inevitably face in the years to come.

As we argue in our brief, the fact that the disqualification clause has been so rarely implicated in our nation’s history is a huge credit to prior generations of American leaders who played their respective parts time and time again in the peaceful transition of power. The fact that the disqualification clause is so clearly implicated now is a similarly great discredit to former President Trump, himself, who allowed his pursuit of power to supersede his Oath of Office and two centuries of precedent.

No one is above the law, including current and former presidents. Donald Trump’s eligibility for our state’s ballot has broad reaching implications for the permissible conduct of future presidents and other public officials, far beyond Colorado and far beyond the 2024 election.

The former president sent an armed mob to the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of the election. He has sought at every turn to inject chaos into our country’s electoral system ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

He should be given no opportunity to do so again in the state of Colorado.