Trump’s Sons Eric And Don Jr. Are Taking The Stand In Fraud Trial From Today—Here’s What They Could Say

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Topline

Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump are slated to attest Wednesday and Thursday successful nan ongoing proceedings accusing them, their begetter erstwhile President Donald Trump and their institution of fraud, pinch nan brothers’ depositions successful nan lawsuit suggesting they won’t return immoderate work for nan allegedly fraudulent scheme—though Eric Trump’s erstwhile claims could now travel backmost to haunt him.

Donald Trump Jr. (L) and Eric Trump be a ceremonial astatine nan Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial ... [+] successful Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, northwestern France, connected June 6, 2019.

AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing erstwhile President Donald Trump, his 2 sons, different business associates and nan Trump Organization for allegedly fraudulently misstating nan worth of assets connected financial documents, successful bid to get much favorable business deals and boost nan ex-president’s nett worth.

Donald Trump, Jr.: The ex-president’s son, an executive vice president astatine nan Trump Organization who took power of his father’s revocable spot aft he assumed nan presidency, was ostensibly responsible for preparing statements of financial information that were submitted to financial institutions—which prosecutors allege incorporate nan fraudulent valuations—and attested to nan accuracy of those statements from 2017 to 2019, nan suit alleges, arsenic good arsenic helping pinch accusation included successful nan statements astatine properties for illustration Trump Park Avenue.

In a July 2022 deposition, taken earlier James’ suit was revenge later that year, Donald Trump, Jr. claimed he “had almost nary engagement in” compiling statements of financial information and that he signed letters attesting to nan statements’ accusation based connected nan proposal of different labor who had “more friendly knowing of nan specifics of those things,” asking them if “they believed, you know, each nan representations to beryllium meticulous and that I was, you know, safe to sign.”

Donald Trump, Jr. testified he whitethorn person been progressive pinch valuations insofar arsenic he “would person talked astir nan deals that I was, you know, alert of that were going on, what I thought they would sell” and different factors, and really those would effect revenues, and he based on existent property is “not a cleanable science,” truthful nan worth of a building tin change.

Eric Trump: The ex-president’s different boy is an executive vice president astatine nan Trump Organization who has likewise helped lead nan institution successful nan aftermath of his father’s ascension to nan White House, and he attested to nan accuracy of statements of financial information successful 2020 and 2021, arsenic good arsenic allegedly playing a domiciled successful valuations for properties he had much power complete for illustration nan company’s Seven Springs property successful Westchester County, New York; Trump International Hotel successful Las Vegas and various play courses, according to nan lawsuit.

After declining to reply questions and invoking his Fifth Amendment authorities successful his first deposition successful October 2020, Eric Trump past testified successful an April 2023 deposition that he besides played nary domiciled successful calculating valuations aliases compiling statements of financial information and conscionable relied connected different employees’ judgement earlier signing disconnected connected them, many times alleging to prosecutors he’s “a construction, actual and on-the-ground operations guy” and accounting issues were “just a wholly different broadside of nan company” from what he worked on.

Eric Trump testified he did not person immoderate elaborate knowledge of appraisals for properties that he worked connected aliases play immoderate important domiciled successful them, claiming that notes connected financial documents that referenced conversations pinch him don’t bespeak immoderate knowledge of valuations and downplaying Zillow listings he emailed to a lawyer and appraiser, which were for comparable properties astir Seven Springs, arsenic conscionable being adjuvant accusation to walk along.

Contra

Eric Trump’s repeated insistence successful April that he played nary domiciled successful appraisals aliases valuations has been undercut by different grounds since nan proceedings began, which he’ll now person to reply for connected nan stand. Former Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney, different suspect successful nan case, testified Eric Trump directed McConney to see things successful valuations for definite properties that contributed to inflated figures, specified arsenic telling him to see properties that hadn’t been built yet astatine Silver Springs. (“I person nary recollection of ever providing Jeff worldly to beryllium utilized successful a connection that I've ne'er seen,” Eric Trump testified successful his deposition.) David McArdle, who appraised properties arsenic portion of nan patient Cushman & Wakefield, went against Eric Trump’s deposition testimony, successful which nan ex-president’s boy claimed he only had a vague recollection of McArdle and didn’t thief pinch his appraisals astatine all. McCardle testified astatine proceedings that he sewage “substantial input” from Eric Trump connected his appraisal of nan company’s Westchester play course, according to nan Associated Press, penning successful an email astatine nan clip that nan ex-president’s boy “has lofty ideas connected value.”

What To Watch For

Following nan brothers’ testimony, which could agelong into Friday, erstwhile President Donald Trump is slated to attest successful nan ongoing proceedings connected Monday, pinch Ivanka Trump—who was an first suspect successful nan lawsuit earlier an appeals tribunal dismissed nan allegations against her—then pursuing connected November 8. The proceedings is expected to proceed until mid-December.

What We Don’t Know

There are still a number of awesome allegations nan Trump brothers could beryllium asked astir connected nan guidelines that they didn’t already reply successful their publically released depositions. Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. weren’t asked straight astir nan discrepancy betwixt what valuations recorded connected statements of financial conditions and what different appraisals of those properties found, for instance. The suit makes allegations much straight asserting Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. were alert of nan allegedly fraudulent strategy and “knowingly participated” successful it than nan questions posed of them successful their depositions.

Surprising Fact

Eric Trump besides tried to deflect blasted disconnected of his begetter successful his deposition, saying successful consequence to a mobility astir whether nan ex-president had “ultimate authority” complete his company, “I deliberation my begetter had nan authority successful things that he wanted to person nan authority on.” The ex-president’s boy claimed his begetter “would delegate a tremendous magnitude of work to people”—a statement of defense that erstwhile President Donald Trump’s attorneys person continued astatine trial, suggesting nan ex-president would delegate work to different group and did not perpetrate fraud himself. In his deposition, Donald Trump, Jr. noted his begetter could “overrule” immoderate determination he and Eric Trump made astir nan Trump Organization “if he chose to get involved,” but besides alleged he doesn’t callback having immoderate conversations astir nan institution pinch his begetter while he was president, and alternatively “just kept those things separate.”

Tangent

The erstwhile president railed against nan fraud lawsuit successful a bid of posts Wednesday greeting connected Truth Social arsenic his sons prepared to return nan stand, decrying Judge Arthur Engoron, who’s overseeing nan case, arsenic a “political hack” and insisting nan proceedings is “rigged” against him. “Leave my children alone, Engoron. You are a ugliness to nan ineligible profession!” erstwhile President Donald Trump wrote.

Key Background

James sued nan Trump family, their associates and institution successful November 2022 pursuing a yearslong investigation, accusing nan ex-president and his associates of misstating valuations connected financial documents much than 200 times betwixt 2011 and 2021. Engoron already recovered each defendants, including Trump and his sons, liable for fraud earlier nan proceedings kicked disconnected successful early October, ruling nan valuations had been misstated connected financial documents and ordering nan company’s business certificates to beryllium canceled. (An appeals tribunal has put that portion of nan ruling connected hold.) Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., person harshly opposed nan judge’s ruling, pinch Eric Trump saying he had “lost each religion successful nan New York ineligible system” and Donald Trump, Jr. calling it “nonsensical and asinine.” The Trump family stands to look superior consequences if nan judge rules against them astatine nan trial—which is moving guardant connected abstracted allegations aft Engoron’s fraud ruling—including a $250 cardinal good and nan ex-president and his sons each being barred from moving companies successful New York.

Further Reading

Eric Trump Deposition Undercut by NY Fraud Trial Witness (Bloomberg)

Ex-Trump Org. executive testifies that Eric Trump led him to inflate values of immoderate properties (CNN)

Ivanka Trump Helped Her Dad Lie About His Net Worth (Forbes)

Trump Thought His D.C. Hotel Would Bring In Twice As Much Money As It Did (Forbes)

Bad Accounting Or Fraud? Trump’s Profit Numbers Don’t Add Up (Forbes)

What Role Did Trump Play In Alleged Fraud Scheme? Here’s What Trial Has Revealed So Far. (Forbes)

Michael Cohen Implicates Trump In Fraud Scheme At Trial (Forbes)


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