Trump Fraud Trial: Donald Trump Jr

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Former US President Donald Trump’s son and co-defendant, Donald Trump Jr., arrives to attend the Trump Organization’s civil fraud trial, in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, New York York, USA, November 1, 2023.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son and co-defendant of former President Donald Trump, said Wednesday that he had no recollection of working on financial statements at the center of a $250 million civil fraud lawsuit in New York on himself and his father, his brother and his business. .

Taking the witness stand for the first time, Trump Jr. that he relied on the expertise of the external accounting firm Mazars, and on Donald Bender, the former Trump family accountant, according to NBC News.

Bender previously testified that the information he used to compile the financial statements was provided by the Trump Organization.

New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges that the defendants have falsely inflated the values ​​of Trump’s real estate properties and other assets by billions of dollars a year to obtain various financial benefits, including tax benefits and better loan terms.

Wednesday’s testimony gave James’ team the first opportunity in the trial to question a member of the Trump family about how their real estate empire operates.

Trump Jr.’s testimony was expected to continue. in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday.

Former US President Donald Trump’s son and co-defendant, Donald Trump Jr., attends the Trump Organization’s civil fraud trial, in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, New York City, on USA, November 1, 2023.

Alex Tabak | Reuters

Trump Jr. and his brother Eric Trump took control of the Trump Organization as executive vice president when their father was elected president in 2017. Before the trial, they both gave sworn depositions in which they down their involvement in creating the financial statements the Attorney General says were false.

Trump Jr. was the first of four members of the Trump family expected to testify in the trial.

Trump Sr. went out Judge Arthur Engoron in a Truth Social post early Wednesday morning. Engoron will hand over the verdicts in the non-jury trial.

“Leave my kids alone, Engoron,” the former president posted at 2:28 a.m. ET. “You’re a disgrace to the legal profession!”

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In addition to seeking about a quarter of a billion dollars in damages, James wants to permanently ban Trump Sr. and his sons Donald and Eric from running a business in New York.

Engoron has already found the defendants liable for fraud and ordered the suspension of their New York business certificates. The trial will resolve six other accusations that James claims.

Judge Arthur Engoron presides over the Trump Organization’s civil fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., November 1, 2023 in this courtroom sketch.

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

Trump Jr.’s testimony will continue. by Eric Trump on Thursday, according to a record from the attorney general’s office. The former president is expected to testify on Monday.

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who was dismissed as a defendant due to statute of limitations by a New York appeals court earlier this year, is expected to take the stand on November 8.

In a surprise move last week, Engoron ordered the former president to take the stand to question him about his comments outside the courtroom, which Engoron believed to be a violation of his his gag order on Trump.

Trump in the brief testimony denied that he was referring to the judge’s chief law clerk, Allison Greenfield, when he complained to reporters about “a very partisan judge with a very a partisan sitting next to him”. Trump had previously ordered him not to make public statements about Engoron employees, after attacking Greenfield in a social media post.

Engoron did not believe him, saying in a written order that his evidence was “weak and false.” Trump was fined a total of $15,000 for two violations of the gag order.

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