Donald Trump testifies in New York civil fraud trial

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. Shannon Stapleton/Pool/Reuters

The New York attorney general’s office last week pressed Donald Trump’s two-year-old sons about their knowledge of and involvement in the former president’s financial statements during the most critical and tense days of the fraud investigation.

Thursday’s reappearances from Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump — both of whom helped run the Trump Organization while their father was in the White House — came ahead of the former president’s own testimony on Monday.

Co-defendants in the suit are Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, whose father, Trump Ark. and many corporate executives.

Attorneys from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James Last Thursday, a judge submitted evidence to challenge claims that the brothers had nothing to do with the former president’s financial statements — which a judge ruled had already fraudulently inflated Donald Trump’s net worth in order to get favorable loan terms.

Here are some Key takeaways from the day in court:

Eric Trump confronted with emails showing his work related to Trump’s finances: The cross-examination of Assistant Attorney General Andrew Amer added to the tension, as Eric Trump pressed him to come clean about his father’s use of financial statements to support real estate transactions.

Eric Trump has admitted to providing information to former Trump Organization comptroller Jeff McCone, who is a co-defendant in the investigation. But he sought to distinguish between specific financial statements — his father’s personal financial statements at the center of the civil case — and general financial records for the company.

The distinction is relevant because Donald Trump’s financial statements are documents the attorney general has pointed to as evidence that he inflated the values ​​of his assets to boost his net worth — and to get favorable loan terms.

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An expert witness for the attorney general testified Wednesday that the Trump Organization saved $168 million thanks to loan rates obtained with the help of fraudulent information.

Donald Trump Jr. said he relies on accountants: Donald Trump Jr. has repeatedly said he relies on his accountants and is not involved in preparing his father’s financial statements.

He testified that he did not prepare the financial statements, and that when he certified them as a trustee, he relied on the Trump Organization’s accounting and legal teams.

After Faherty asked what steps the Trump Organization took once the attorney general’s investigation began in 2019, the attorney general’s office and Trump’s attorneys had a lengthy back-and-forth about attorney-client privilege.

Some internal policies and procedures have been “strengthened” since the investigation began, Trump Jr. said. One of those changes, he said, is hiring a chief financial officer who is a certified public accountant.

Read more about Trump’s fraud case here.

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