Trump Jr. testifies again in $250 million fraud trial
Donald Trump Jr., son of former President Donald Trump, enters the New York State Supreme Court for his civil fraud trial on November 13, 2023 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Donald Trump Jr. a swift turn on the witness stand Monday to launch the defense’s case in a $250 million civil fraud trial targeting former President Donald Trump’s New York business empire.
Defense attorneys spent much of their time asking about the Trump Organization’s extensive portfolio of properties, and Trump Jr. the opportunity to brag at length about the company’s hotels, golf courses and high-rise buildings.
Trump Jr.’s testimony was not
The defense lawyers began presenting their case four days after they failed in their last bid to have James’ fraud charges thrown out.
James accuses Trump Sr., his adult son Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, the Trump Organization and their senior executives for falsely inflating the values of Trump’s assets in order to increase his net worth and obtain various financial benefits.
The AG is seeking about $250 million in damages and wants to permanently bar Trump and his sons, who took over the Trump Organization after their father became president in 2017, from ‘ ran another business in New York.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has already ruled that the defendants are liable for falsely missing real estate values and other assets on Trump’s financial records. Engoron’s pretrial decision also ordered the revocation of the defendants’ New York business certificates, although an appeals court has blocked that order from taking effect.
The trial, which is being held without a jury, will determine penalties and resolve other claims in James’ trial.
State prosecutors suspended their case as president last week, after testimony from Trump and three of his grown children. Ivanka Trump, who was dismissed in June as a defendant by an appeals court, was the last of more than two dozen witnesses to be questioned by the state.
In his first visit to the stand in early November, Trump Jr. confirmed. that he was not involved in preparing the so-called “statements of financial position” at the heart of the James case. He said he was responsible for accountants employed by the company, especially Donald Bender, who was the Trump family accountant.
Bender had previously confirmed that the information he used to compile the financial statements was provided to him by the Trump Organization.
Trump Jr. was expected to facing questions on Monday and Tuesday. But he was dismissed Monday afternoon, and the defense called Trump’s tax attorney Sheri Dillon back to the stand.
Last week, defense attorneys requested that the case be thrown out, arguing that the AG’s office had not established any suffering or injury in the case. They pointed out that the loans obtained through the disputed financial statements were repaid on time and with interest.
Engoron has already rejected this argument, saying last month that there was enough evidence in the case to “fill the courtroom.”
Trump and his allies have long attacked Engoron in and out of the courtroom. Trump complained about the judge, saying he “always rules against me” and calling the trial “unfair,” as he sat next to him during his sworn testimony the t – last week.
On Friday, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Rep. Elise Stefanik filed an ethics complaint requesting that Engoron be removed from the case.