By Andrew Goudsward
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Donald Trump said in a radio interview on Wednesday that he would be willing to testify in his own defense at a trial over his alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Florida resort.
“I look forward to testifying,” Trump told the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, is scheduled to face trial beginning in May over his retention of sensitive national security documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort after he left office and alleged efforts to obstruct the government’s investigation.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and accused prosecutors of targeting him for political purposes.
The documents case is one of four criminal cases against Trump that could go to trial next year.
It would be a risky legal gambit for Trump to testify at the trial. The move would expose the famously free-wheeling former reality television star to cross-examination from prosecutors who would seek to draw damaging information from him while under oath.
Trump has a history of showing a willingness to testify in investigations, only to backpedal later. He said in 2018 that he would speak under oath with former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who investigated potential coordination between his 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government. Trump ultimately did not speak with prosecutors and was not charged in the probe.
(Reporting by Andrew Goudsward; Editing by Scott Malone and Daniel Wallis)