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Trump back in court for New York fraud case

Former President Donald Trump returned to a New York City courthouse Tuesday to attend the third week of his civil fraud trial, as New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office continues to argue Trump and his company fraudulently inflated the value of their assets for personal gain—allegations denied by Trump and a face-to-face showdown with former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen will have to wait.

Cohen, a key witness in the state’s case against the former president, postponed his testimony, saying he needed to attend to a health problem.

“I’m not bowing out. I’m not nervous to testify. I’m not being paid off. I have a medical issue that I need to attend to. It’s as simple as that,” Cohen said last week on X, formerly known as Twitter. Judge Arthur Engoron said Monday that the earliest Cohen can now testify is Oct. 23.

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Cohen’s absence is scrambling the trial schedule in its third week, forcing the New York attorney general’s office to call other witnesses earlier than planned. It’s also robbing the proceedings — which have been heavy on spreadsheets and accounting talk — of the drama of a Cohen-Trump confrontation, at least for now.

Trump, who is campaigning for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, attended the trial’s first three days, Oct. 2-4. The trial is expected to last into December, but a lot has happened so far.

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