Donald Trump’s wild day in court in his Manhattan fraud trial will only help his 2024 presidential bid, one of his former attorneys told CNN.
“I really think you are going to see him soar in the polls after what happened yesterday,” said David Schoen, who represented Trump during his second impeachment trial, told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on Tuesday.
Schoen, who has worked with Trump for 33 years, said he spoke with the former president after his testimony regarding accusations that his company inflated property values to secure bank loans.
“It was a good day for him,” Schoen said. “He stood up to what he believes to be an unfair proceeding, America believes to be an unfair proceeding. I am not sure why they called him as a witness, frankly. This case is becoming or has become a circus, and I think this just added to it. “
Schoen added that he believes the judge’s comments, including calling Trump a ‘bully,’ only rally the former president’s supporters.
“When (the judge) said ‘I don’t want to hear what he has to say,’ I am not sure what purpose was served except I think it will help president Trump in the polls,” Schoen said. “I think he stood up to a court he believes to be unfair. … I think that serves him well in the polls politically.”
He added: “I am not sure why they called him as a witness, frankly. This case is becoming or has become a circus.”
Harlow also asked Schoen if he would advise Trump to “take the 5th” in the fraud case.
“Well, first of all, that’s not in his personality, as you know,” Schoen said. “This is a very public forum. And I think that he wanted to stand up to this judge. This is one of the cases in which I think much of America feels it’s unfair.”
The New York attorney general’s office is prosecuting the case under a consumer protection statute, and there is no third-party plaintiff besides the state. Shoen said that he also believes the word “fraud” is being taken out of context in the case.
“We hear fraud,” he said. “(The case) doesn’t require any showing of materiality, losses, any showing of victims. It strikes people as unfair, and he kind of spoke for those people yesterday.”