Former President Donald Trump to Take the Stand in New York Civil Fraud Trial

Former President Donald Trump to Take the Stand in New York Civil Fraud Trial – The anticipation is that Former President Donald Trump will respond to inquiries regarding his involvement in the submission of fraudulent financial statements by the Trump Organization from 2011 to 2021. Trump, the founder and former chairman and president of the Trump Organization, which encompasses a substantial real estate portfolio, is facing allegations from state Attorney General Letitia James. 

The accusations suggest his participation in a scheme to manipulate asset values, either inflating or deflating them, in order to secure advantageous business, insurance, and banking deals. In addition to Trump, his two elder sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

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This marks the initial occasion on which the former president will be called to testify publicly regarding the allegations presented by the attorney general. Trump has attended multiple days of the trial during the past six weeks, and he was previously summoned by presiding Judge Arthur Engoron to address questions related to public comments that later violated a gag order.

Just recently, Engoron issued a second gag order, this time targeting Trump’s legal team, following contentious interactions between the two parties during last week’s testimonies. Trump’s attorneys repeatedly accused Engoron’s law clerk of bias and criticized the judge for passing notes and having the clerk sit on the bench alongside him.

The second limited order filed on Friday blocks Trump’s lawyers from making “further statements about internal and confidential communications” between him and his staff. “Since the commencement of this bench trial, my chambers have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters and packages,” Engoron wrote in the order. 

“The First Amendment right of defendants and their attorneys to common on my staff is far and away outweighed by the need to protect them from threats and physical harm.” Eric and Donald Jr. Trump, who both served as executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization and held significant leadership positions during their father’s presidential term, were recently interviewed by the attorney general’s legal team regarding their roles within the Trump Organization. 

As well as their interactions with those responsible for compiling the annual financial statements. Initially, Eric Trump disclaimed any involvement in the preparation of the financial statements. However, during the court proceedings, email exchanges between Trump and Jeffrey McConney, the former controller of the Trump Organization and a co-defendant, were presented as evidence. These emails revealed that Eric Trump was asked to review and provide input on the financial statements and the properties listed therein. 

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Despite his claims of relying on others for accuracy, the court documents indicated that he had knowledge of the process. His brother Trump Jr. had a similar testimony. When asked directly by Engoron if he had anything to do with statements of financial condition issued by the Trump Organization, Trump Jr. said: “No, I did not, your honor.” He was also asked about his role as a trustee of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust.

Trustees of the Trust were “responsible for” the statements, according to the documents shown in the trial. During his testimony, Trump Jr. mentioned that he depended on individuals like co-defendant and former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg to scrutinize the financial condition statements. Additionally, both McConney and Weisselberg have already provided their testimonies.

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