Donald Trump Jr to continue testifying at business fraud trial

November 2, 2023

Donald Trump Jr. was set to take the stand for a second day Thursday at business fraud trial of his father, the former President, and their real estate company.

Trump Jr. is the first of the former President’s three adult children who’ve been called to testify in New York State Supreme Court. His brother, Eric, was set to testify later Thursday after the questioning of the eldest Trump child wrapped. Their sister, Ivanka Trump, is expected to testify this coming Wednesday, after the former President is scheduled for testimony on Monday.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James is suing former President Trump, his companies and its officers including Trump’s two adult sons over allegations of more than 200 instances bank, tax and insurance fraud over a 10-year period from 2011 to 2021.

The lawsuit accuses Trump Jr. and Eric Trump of knowingly participating in a scheme to inflate their father’s net worth to obtain financial benefits like better loan and insurance policy terms.

Though Ivanka Trump has been dismissed as a defendant, due to statutes of limitations related to her time at the Trump Organization, Judge Arthur Engoron agreed with James’ assertion that the former President’s daughter  “indisputably has personal knowledge of facts relevant to the claims against the remaining individual and entity Defendants. But even beyond that, Ms. Trump remains financially and professionally intertwined with the Trump Organization and other Defendants and can be called as a person still under their control.”

On Thursday, Ivanka Trump filed to appeal Engoron’s ruling that she must testify, based on the transcript of the hearing to dismiss her as a defendant.

On Wednesday afternoon, Trump Jr. testified for about 90 minutes, during which he was questioned by Assistant Attorney General Colleen Faherty about a 2017 statement of financial condition, which Judge Engoron has already ruled is fraudulent.

Trump Jr. repeated an assertion he’d made previously that he didn’t help to prepare the statement that year.

“I did not. The accountants worked on it, that’s what we pay them for,” he said on the stand. 

Trump Jr. became a trustee of his father’s business when his father was sworn in as President in 2017.

Engoron has already issued a summary judgment in the civil suit, agreeing with James’ allegations that Trump and his company and officers did in fact commit business fraud during the decade in question.

The summary judgment resolved the key claim in James’ lawsuit, but the other claims remain, including the amount of damages that will be levied. The state Attorney General is suing Trump and the other defendants for $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in his home state. The trial could last into December, according to Engoron.

PHOTO: Donald Trump Jr. at CPAC, March 3

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