The massive criminal trial wrapping up involving Sam Bankman-Fried is on my mind but not for the typical reasons. He's the head (former, more aptly) of the defunct cryptocurrency fund FTX. The numbers are staggering: billions upon billions of dollars are gone without apparently a plausible explanation.
In a criminal trial, unlike a civil trial, the defendant does not have to testify. I'm not a criminal lawyer, but I know from defending pharmacists, real estate agents, and the like that the less your client says the better. Be succinct, be direct, but do not do more than answer the question.
When I think about this case I can't help but focus on this very risky action; Bankman-Fried took the stand to defend himself. The articles I have read point to one theme in the government's cross-examination: contradicting his past, published statements against his actual actions. This, if true, tells me there will be a major conviction.
My forecast held true, this is yet another example of how your past written words will undercut your credibility, even if those words were true at the time. The pure fact of the existing contradiction discredits the veracity of the statements. Your best option in difficult times is really to not say anything; take actions that are necessary and correct. Do not send e-mails, letters, text messages, or anything that can be reproduced which are inconsistent with your actions.
The short of it being silence is better than statements that may prove untrue. Keep this in mind and it can save your case.