Donald Trump Jr, son of former US President Donald Trump – with whom he is facing a civil trial for financial fraud – testified on Wednesday, November 1, in a Manhattan court, where he presented himself unfamiliar with accounting calculations.
Donald Trump Jr., the first of the sons of the Republican billionaire who testified in his civil trial in New York for a large financial fraud, committed this November 1 before a court in Manhattan (New York) without manipulating the financial documents contained in the. center of the accusation.
The appearance of the eldest son of the former US president inaugurated a long family send-off that will continue in Eric Trump followed by himself Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump who, however, filed an appeal without testifying.
The Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, Donald Trump Jr, 45, as well as his father and younger brother Eric, were accused by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, which inflating the group’s assets by billions of dollars in the 2010s to get better bank loans and more favorable insurance conditions.
Dressed in a dark blue suit, light shirt, and pink tie, Donald Trump Jr. confirmed. his role at the top of the Trump Organization, a conglomerate of companies that manage skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and golf courses around the world.
“Who has been leading the pack since Donald Trump entered the White House in January 2017?” asked the representative of the attorney general, Colleen Faherty, to which Trump Jr. answered: “In short, me, my brother (Eric) and Allen Weisselberg “, the former finance director was sentenced to prison in 2022 for tax fraud.
“leave my children alone”
But he also presents himself as ignorant of accounting calculations. Considered responsible by the Prosecutor’s Office for the annual financial statements of Donald Trump since 2016, the eldest son of the former president explained that he placed his trust in his accounting firm, Mazars.
“I did not participate in the preparation” of those documents, “the accountants worked on them, that’s what we paid them,” Trump Jr. said. which did not convince James, who stated on his X account that “Trump Jr. has long been involved in his family’s fraudulent businesses.”
For the most part, the appearance took place in a spirited atmosphere, far from the attacks that the Trump family – father and son – usually launched against Justice. “Leave my children alone, Engoron. You are a disgrace to the judicial profession,” Trump posted overnight on his social network Truth Social, speaking to Judge Arthur Engoron, who prosecuted the case and fined him. $15,000. because of the attack on his secretary.
Donald Trump, 77, will be questioned on Monday, almost a year before the 2024 presidential elections in which he hopes to attend to once again lead the United States. The defense maintains that the valuations of the group’s properties, such as Trump Tower and the 40 Wall Street building, are subjective but honest, and that the banks lost nothing.
But according to Michiel McCarty, head of investment bank MM Dillon & Co, who was called to the stand Wednesday as an expert, lending banks, such as Deutsche Bank, could have decided to set higher interest rates if they had a less encouraging image. on Donald Trump’s financial situation.
The expert examined four loans to finance projects around a golf course in Florida, two luxury hotels and 40 Wall Street, and estimate,ed interest losses of $ 168 million between 2014 and 2023. This calculation was challenged by the defense.
Trump did not appear in court on Wednesday. Since the beginning of the process, he presented himself as a victim of a judicial setup, like the other four cases in which he faces criminal charges, especially the attempt to cancel the 2020 presidential election.
Although he did not face a prison sentence in this civil trial, The case could mean losing control of part of his real estate holdings, in addition to a $250 million fine and a ban on managing New York companies.
Before the opening of the trial, on October 2, Judge Engoron ruled that the Prosecutor’s Office presented “Conclusive evidence that, between 2014 and 2021, the defendants overstated assets” by “$812 million (to) $2.2 billion”, depending on the year. As a result of “repeated fraud”, he ordered the liquidation of the companies, a real legal bomb, but his decision was suspended on appeal.
The trial will focus on other violations of the financial law and the amount of the fine.