Donald Trump Jr. returns to the stand in New York fraud trial as defense’s first witness

Trump team to present case in fraud trial

Prosecutors rest, Trump team to present case in civil fraud trial


Donald Trump Jr. is testifying for a second time in his family’s civil fraud trial in New York on Monday, becoming the first witness called by the defense.

Trump Jr. was previously called to the stand on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3, when the state was presenting its side of the $250 million fraud case. He testified he relied on the Trump Organization’s accountants for the financial statements that are at the center of the trial.

The defense did not question Trump Jr. at the time. His siblings, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, and father, former President Donald Trump, were also called to the stand after Trump Jr.’s first appearance.

The younger Trumps downplayed their roles in preparing the so-called statements of financial condition detailing their father’s assets. Judge Arthur Engoron concluded in a pretrial ruling in September that the documents fraudulently overstated Donald Trump’s wealth by billions of dollars, and the value of certain properties by hundreds of millions of dollars. New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office is arguing that doing so allowed his family and company to cut deals with banks and insurers for significantly better terms than the Trumps otherwise would have received.

Trump and his co-defendants — his two oldest sons, several Trump Organization executives and the company itself — have all denied wrongdoing. The trial is proceeding on other allegations, including falsification of business records and conspiracy. The judge is also being asked to determine “disgorgement,” or the amount the state should receive for “ill-gotten” gains.

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