In a Manhattan courtroom on Friday, Eric Trump returned to the stand, continuing his testimony one day after the New York Attorney General’s Office lauded his testimony as “extremely favorable” to their fraud case against the Trump family.
The previous day, both Eric Trump and his older brother, Donald Trump Jr., played down their involvement with financial records at the heart of the case. They stated that their roles in the preparation of financial documents, which allegedly inflated the value of Trump Organization properties and their father’s wealth, were limited.
The judge presiding over the case has already found the Trump family and their company liable for fraud, asserting that they manipulated financial statements to secure favorable deals with banks and insurers. New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges that the family profited from fraud, with at least $250 million in question. The Trumps and other co-defendants deny any wrongdoing.
Understanding the Key Issues
The core of this case revolves around documents known as statements of financial condition. These documents purportedly presented inflated values for Trump properties and Trump’s personal assets, which were subsequently used to secure more favorable loan rates and insurance deals. During his Thursday testimony, Eric Trump claimed he had little to no involvement with these statements of financial condition, stating that he didn’t believe he had “ever saw or worked on a statement of financial condition” and had “never had anything to do with” them.
Email exchanges were presented to Eric Trump during the trial, which included references to “annual financial statements” or the abbreviation “f/s” concerning his father. While Eric Trump acknowledged that he understood these references to be related to financial statements, he maintained that they didn’t necessarily refer to the specific annual statements of financial condition central to the case.
In a significant moment, an attorney from the New York Attorney General’s office showed pretrial deposition footage of Eric Trump, highlighting inconsistencies between his previous statements and the evidence gathered by the office. Eric Trump defended both his testimony and his deposition, although he conceded that the evidence suggested he had some involvement in preparing the financial statements, albeit to a limited extent.
Both Eric and Donald Trump Jr. attempted to shift blame onto the Trump Organization’s accountants, both internal and external, for any inaccuracies that underpinned the state’s allegations of fraud. The former President, Donald Trump, is expected to testify on Monday, with their sister, Ivanka Trump, scheduled to take the stand two days later.
As the testimony from Thursday neared its conclusion, the legal teams engaged in disputes over whether a lawyer from the attorney general’s office had been repeating questions to elicit desired testimony. Special counsel for the New York Attorney General, Andrew Amer, expressed satisfaction with Eric Trump’s testimony, stating that it was “extremely favorable to our case.”