Former attorney in classified docs case says Trump testifying may not be good idea
Ex-Trump attorney Tim Parlatore said Wednesday that it might not be a good idea for former President Trump to testify at any of his four upcoming criminal trials, emphasizing that taking the stand is an “uncontrollable risk” in any case.
“Personally, I don’t like any of my clients taking the stand in a criminal case,” Parlatore said in an interview on CNN. “It’s not something they’re required to do. And I have not generally had any clients take the stand unless they first undergo a very rigorous cross-examination by me and pass.”
“More times than not, when they’re going through that process, they say, ‘All right, Tim, stop. Timeout. I don’t believe myself. I’m not testifying,’” he continued. “So I can’t see it being a good idea here either.”
Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier Wednesday he “absolutely” would testify in his defense at a potential trial.
The former president previously made headlines when he was deposed in the sexual battery and defamation case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll.
In the deposition, he notably mistook a photo of Carroll for his ex-wife Marla Maples and defended his infamous “Access Hollywood” comments, saying they are “largely true, unfortunately or fortunately.”
Parlatore said such moments from the Carroll deposition are illustrative of why testifying at trial could be risky.
“It’s an uncontrolled environment,” he said. “You don’t know necessarily what the client’s going to say. Even a very well-practiced client can say things that they would regret after the fact.”
“So you try to remember a trial is a presentation for the jury where you’re going to try to control it as much as you can, and that’s an uncontrollable risk,” he added.
Parlatore served as one of Trump’s attorneys in the Mar-a-Lago documents case earlier this year but later withdrew. He cited internal division and issues with longtime Trump aide and in-house counsel Boris Epshteyn as the primary source of the problems.