Former President Trump said Wednesday he would “absolutely” take the stand to defend himself in his impending trials, saying he looks “forward” to doing so.
The former president and 2024 Republican front-runner appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Wednesday morning.
Trump is the first former president of the United States history to face criminal charges. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges in all three jurisdictions.
On Wednesday, Trump was asked if he would testify in his own defense at any of the trials stemming from the four separate indictments he faces.
“Oh yes, absolutely,” Trump said.
When asked if he would take the stand, Trump replied: “That, I would do—that, I look forward to . . . At trial, I’ll testify.”
“Because that’s just like Russia, Russia, Russia,” Trump said, referring back to the FBI’s original 2016 investigation into whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
That probe eventually spun into a special counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller. After two years, Mueller’s investigation yielded no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election.
“Remember when the dossier came out and everyone said oh, that’s so terrible, that’s so terrible, and then it turned out to be it was a political report put out by Hillary Clinton and the DNC?” Trump said. “They paid millions for it, They gave it to Christopher Steele, They paid millions and millions of dollars for it, and it was all fake.”
The dossier contained allegations of purported coordination between Trump and the Russian government. It was authored by Christopher Steele, an ex-British intelligence officer.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the dossier through the law firm Perkins Coie.
Trump was first indicted out of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s years-long investigation related to hush-money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Bragg alleged that Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”
Trump pleaded not guilty to all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in New York.
A trial date has not yet been set.
Next, Special Counsel Jack Smith indicted Trump on charges stemming from his investigation into the former president’s alleged improper retention of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump pleaded not guilty to all 37 felony charges out of that probe. The charges include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements.
Last month, on July 27, Trump was charged with an additional three counts as part of a superseding indictment out of Smith’s investigation — an additional count of willful retention of national defense information and two additional obstruction counts.
That trial date is being discussed for May 2024– ahead of the final GOP primaries and the Republican convention.
Smith was also investigating whether Trump was involved in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, and any alleged interference in the 2020 election result.
On Aug. 1, Trump was indicted on four federal charges out of Smith’s Jan. 6 probe.
That trial is set to begin on March 4, 2024–the day before the Super Tuesday primaries.
Last month, Fulton County, Ga. District Attorney Fani Willis charged Trump and 18 others out of her investigation into his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.
Willis charged Trump with one count of violation of the Georgia RICO Act, three counts of criminal solicitation, six counts of criminal conspiracy, one count of filing false documents and two counts of making false statements.
Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Willis is pushing for an October 2023 trial date, which Trump attorneys are seeking to delay.