Former President Donald Trump's attorney Alina Habba's claim that Trump was "not afraid" of testifying in his New York fraud case did not age well after he announced he was backing out of testifying in his own defense with an all caps Truth Social post.
Initially, Habba confidently asserted outside a New York court that Trump was undeterred by the accusations and was eager to testify again in the civil trial. She portrayed Trump as unwavering, emphasizing his commitment to the ideals of an "old America."
"He is firmly against what is happening in this court and so firmly for the old America that we know, not this America, that he will take that stand on Monday."
"He will open himself up to whatever they want because he's not afraid, people that are afraid cower. President Trump doesn't cower. We'll be back on Monday."
You can hear what she said in the video below.
However, the situation took a turn when Trump declared he would in fact NOT testify again in the $250 million fraud trial. His decision stood in stark contrast to his lawyer's earlier assurances.
In a post on Truth Social, Trump declared in emphatic uppercase letters that he had already testified comprehensively and did not need to do so again. He dismissed the trial as an "election interference witch hunt"—making erroneous links to the Biden campaign—and further criticized New York Attorney General Letitia James, whom he accused of bias.
"They claimed that Mar-a-Lago was worth only $18,000,000, whn it is worth 50 to 100 times that amount, in ordr to illegally reduce my values and make a fake case against me. They did this on other properties, as well, [and] wouldn't give me a jury."
"Likewise, [James'] thugs do not want to acknowledge that I have paid almost $300 million in New York City and state taxes during the years in question. Importantly, I won at the appelate division, which effectively ended most of the case, but the biased judge refused to accept their order, an unheard of first!"
"Based on the above, and the fact that our unassailable final expert witness has been so strong and irrefutable in his testimony, which will conclude on Tuesday, [and] that I have already testified to everything [and] have nothing more to say other than that this is a complete [and] total election interference (Biden campaign!) witch hunt, that will do nothing but keep businesses out of New York."
"I will not be testifying on Monday. MAGA!"
You can see Trump's post below.
Trump's reversal—which would reshape the trial's trajectory—exposed both him and Habba to significant criticism.
Trump's trial has dominated headlines in New York for the last few months.
In September, Judge Arthur Engoron held the former President and his two adult sons liable for "persistent and repeated" fraud, leading to the revocation of the Trump Organization's business licenses and James seeking a $250 million penalty.
Trump's three children—Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump—have all testified during the trial. While Ivanka Trump has largely attempted to distance herself from the court proceedings, her brothers have contended that the legal proceedings were politically motivated.
Eric Trump in particular claimed that James had been seeking to target his father for the past six years, portraying the situation as emblematic of the current state of the United States, depicting the legal battle as an assault on those with no involvement in the alleged fraud.