(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s deposition in the $500 million lawsuit he filed against his former lawyer Michael Cohen was delayed by a week by a Florida judge so the ex-president can attend the start of a separate civil fraud trial in New York next week, though it’s unclear if he’ll actually show up.
US Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres in Miami on Friday moved the deposition originally set for Oct. 3 to Oct. 9, while chastising Trump for agreeing to the earlier date despite knowing for months it would overlap with the trial.
Trump claimed “it was imperative that he attend his New York trial in person — at least for each day of the first week of trial when many strategy judgments had to be made,” Torres said in his ruling. “Plaintiff insisted that he would be prejudiced if he could not do so.”
The delay is the latest twist in Trump’s increasingly chaotic legal schedule, which has been marked by previous fights over the scheduling of trials and depositions. Trump faces trials in four criminal cases and two civil suits as he campaigns to return to the White House in 2024.
The trial of New York state’s $250 million civil fraud lawsuit against Trump and his company is set to start Monday in Manhattan. He’s accused of inflating the value of his assets by billions of dollars a year to dupe banks and insurers into giving him better terms on loans and policies. Trump denies wrongdoing.
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“I look forward to seeing Donald at the NYAG’s civil trial next week as it has been many years since we have seen one another,” Cohen said in a statement. “Our time together will continue as I additionally plan on being at the deposition on Oct. 9th.”
A representative for the New York state court in Manhattan, where the trial is taking place, said he hadn’t heard of any plan by the former president to be there and that security measures for Trump require advance planning.
Trump’s lawyer in the Cohen case, Alejandro Brito, didn’t respond to messages seeking comment on the trial plans. Trump’s lawyer in the New York case, Christopher Kise, also didn’t respond to messages.
Cohen is also one of the star witnesses in the New York trial, having gone public in 2019 with claims that Trump exaggerated his net worth to trick financial institutions. Cohen pleaded guilty to crimes including campaign finance violations and bank fraud, and he’s now a vocal critic of Trump.
Trump sued him in April for allegedly violating their attorney-client bond and spreading “embarrassing or detrimental” lies. He also claims Cohen violated a non-disclosure agreement with the former president and fraudulently misrepresented a $74,000 business expenditure, all of which Cohen denies.
Public statements by Cohen helped form the basis for James’s civil lawsuit as well as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment of Trump for allegedly falsifying business records tied to a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.
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Trump’s deposition was originally set for Sept. 6., but one day before that date Trump “urgently requested” a delay “based on the sudden unavailability” of a lawyer representing him in other matters who wished to attend, according to Friday’s ruling. That’s when the court scheduled the deposition for Oct. 3, which Trump’s lawyer identified “as a preferred date for the deposition.”
The case is Trump v. Cohen, 1:23-cv-21377, US District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Miami).
(Updates with comment from Michael Cohen.)
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