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Trump gets temporary reprieve from testifying in Bronx civil trial

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By Dareh Gregorian  with NBC News Politics
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, N.J. on Aug. 15, 2019.   -   Copyright  Patrick Semansky AP file

President Donald Trump doesn't have to testify for a Bronx civil trial involving his bodyguards — at least not yet.

A state appeals court in New York issued a stay of Bronx Supreme Court Justice Doris Gonzalez's ruling last week that Trump "appear for a videotaped deposition prior to the trial" of a group of protesters who allege they were assaulted by the then-candidate's bodyguardsoutside of Trump Tower in 2015.

The state Appellate Division also temporarily stayed the trial, which was set to begin on Thursday. Gonzalez's ruling had said that Trump's testimony is "indispensable" to the case.

Trump's lawyers contended he should not have to testify because of his duties as president.

The Appellate Division said it would decide the appeal on an expedited basis.

"We are pleased that the Court has agreed to designate this case as expedited and anticipate a speedy resolution of the matter. We are confident that the Appellate Division will agree with Hon. Justice Doris Gonzalez that Mr. Trump is subject to the same rules and procedures that govern all defendants in our civil justice system," said a lawyer for the plaintiffs, Benjamin Dictor.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.