(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump is on trial in New York in a $250 million lawsuit that could alter the personal fortune and real estate empire that helped propel Trump to the White House.
Trump, his sons Eric and Don Jr., and Trump Organization executives are accused by New York Attorney General Letitia James of engaging in a decade-long scheme in which they used “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” to inflate Trump’s net worth in order get more favorable loan terms. The trial comes after the judge in the case ruled in a partial summary judgment that Trump had submitted “fraudulent valuations” for his assets, leaving the trial to determine additional actions and what penalty, if any, the defendants should receive.
The former president has denied all wrongdoing and his attorneys have argued that Trump’s alleged inflated valuations were a product of his business skill.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Nov 06, 4:15 PM EST
James says Trump’s testimony doesn’t change evidence
New York Attorney General Letitia James, speaking to reporters after court had adjourned, said that Trump’s testimony didn’t change her case.
“He rambled, he hurled insults, but we expected that,” James said. “At the end of the day the documentary evidence demonstrated that, in fact, he inflated his net worth.”
The New York AG said she “will not be bullied.”
“I will not be harassed — this case will go on,” she said.
Nov 06, 3:57 PM EST
Defense says it will finish presenting its case by Dec. 15
Donald Trump’s lawyers plan to present a defense case that would conclude by Dec. 15, defense lawyer Chris Kise said.
Before court concluded today, Judge Engoron also advised Trump’s lawyers that he would not respond positively to a motion for mistrial based on the actions of his clerk who Trump’s attorneys have accused of being biased against the defense and improperly influencing the trial.
“I am directing you not to make that motion,” Engoron initially said — but then he backtracked.
“We obviously are going to be moving for a mistrial — that is part of the plan. [But] we do not want to put anyone at risk.” Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba said, requesting clarity about how they can move for a mistrial without violating the case’s gag order that prohibits parties from making public statements about the judge’s staff.
“You can make that motion. And I’m sorry I yelled at you before,” Engoron told Habba.
Court is set to resume on Wednesday with testimony from Ivanka Trump.
Nov 06, 3:27 PM EST
Trump steps down from witness stand
After testifying on and off for five hours, Donald Trump has stepped down from the witness stand after completing his direct examination.
State attorney Kevin Wallace concluded his questions by asking Trump about his former CFO Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion, and about internal controls at the Trump Organization.
Weisselberg served three months for tax fraud after he pleaded guilty to 15 felony charges related to his compensation while working for Trump.
“People went after him viciously and violently because he worked for me,” Trump said.
Trump said he only learned about Weisselberg’s illegal conduct because of the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal probe into the Trump Organization and Weisselberg.
“I feel very badly for him,” Trump said. “He did a good job for me for a long time.”
“Do you think anything needs to change at the Trump Organization because of what you learned from this lawsuit?” Wallace asked.
“I don’t think so,” Trump said, suggesting he would defer to his new accounting firm.
“We will see if anything will come of it,” he said.
Nov 06, 3:07 PM EST
Trump displays sharp recall of decade-old transactions
In a workmanlike tone contrasting with the day’s initial vitriol, Trump has been issuing mostly terse responses to the state’s questions about his properties in Chicago and Washington, D.C.
While earlier witnesses, including Trump’s sons and key Trump Organization executives, often struggled to recall details of transactions while on the stand, Trump has been demonstrating a sharp recollection of decade-old transactions and emails.
State attorney Kevin Wallace marched through a series of questions about loan documents related to those properties, with the former president cooperating with his line of inquiry.
When Wallace brought up the loan agreement for a Trump-owned building in Chicago, Trump launched into a defense of the loan, which he said he paid off in full and ahead of schedule.
“This loan was paid off in full, with no default, no problem,” Trump said. “It was a very successful loan … so the bank was thrilled.”
“There was no victim,” Trump added.
Nov 06, 2:38 PM EST
‘I’ve had a lot of cash,’ Trump says about his net worth
Testimony has resumed following the lunch break, with state attorneys asking the former president about his net worth as it related to loan requirements.
Trump agreed to maintain a net worth of $2.5 billion and cash in excess of $50 million when Deutsche Bank granted him a loan in 2011 for his Trump National Doral golf club, according to documents entered into evidence.
Asked about those covenants — which Trump satisfied by certifying his financial statements — Trump only addressed the cash on hand.
“They always want to make sure the cash was substantial,” Trump said, claiming that he had $300 to $400 million in cash at the time.
“I’ve had a lot of cash for a long time,” Trump said. “That is all they cared about.”
Nov 06, 2:03 PM EST
Trump attorney says AG’s case has ‘nothing but their politics’
Trump attorney Alina Habba assailed the New York attorney general’s $250 million civil case and the judge overseeing it, in remarks to reporters during the lunch break.
“What I’m seeing is such a demise of the American judicial system,” Habba said outside the courthouse. “They’ve got nothing but their politics.”
“This is a judge who clearly has an issue with facts that are not good for the case,” she said of Judge Arthur Engoron.
Nov 06, 1:52 PM EST
Trump distances himself from preparation of statements
The courtroom has broken for lunch before Trump’s testimony resumes for the afternoon session.
Trump testified in the morning session that he tasked then-Trump Organization executives Jeffrey McConney and Allen Weisselberg to work with a “very highly paid accounting firm” to handle his annual statements of financial condition, distancing himself from the preparation of the statements that are at the center of the New York attorney general’s case.
“All I did was authorize for people to give what was necessary so they could do the statement,” Trump said.
Asked about the valuation of his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, which was assessed at a dramatically lower value than Trump claimed because a deed restriction prevented it from being used as anything but a social club, Trump defended his valuation, saying, “We have the right to change it back to a house.”
The former president also continued to tout his financial statements’ so-called “worthless” clause which he said ensured that banks did not take the statement at face value.
“We have a disclaimer that says, ‘Do your own due diligence. Don’t under any circumstances count on anything here,"” Trump said in court, at one point waving a piece of paper in the air about the clause that he said vindicated him.
“I would love to read that if I could, your honor?” Trump asked Judge Engoron.
“No,” Engoron said, shooting down the request.
“No shock,” Trump quipped.
Nov 06, 12:53 PM EST
‘We are not going to hear about the disclaimer clause,’ says judge
After tamping down on Trump at the start of the day, Judge Engoron has largely been granting him space to engage in the kind of provocative language he often uses on social media.
But at one point, when Trump pulled out a piece of paper about a disclaimer and said it vindicates him, Engoron stepped in.
The former president argued in his deposition earlier this year, and has repeatedly said on social media, that a so-called “worthless” disclaimer included in his statements of financial condition — which warns lenders that the valuations in the document require judgment and that they should do their own analysis — insulates him from liability.
Engoron, an a partial summary judgment issued before the start of the trial, ruled otherwise.
“No, no, no, we are not going to hear about the disclaimer clause,” Engoron responded when Trump pulled out the paper.
Nov 06, 12:35 PM EST
Trump airs complaints against judge, New York AG
After a cordial question-and-answer interlude seemed to cool down the temperature in courtroom, the former president has grown increasingly animated as he levels complaints against the judge and the New York attorney general, whom he called “a political hack.”
When state attorney Kevin Wallace asked Trump if he disagreed with the attorney general’s assessment of the value of some of the Trump Organization’s properties, Trump fired back.
“I think it’s fraudulent,” Trump said. “The fraud is on the court, not on me.”
Looking at Wallace but motioning toward Judge Engoron, Trump said of the judge, “You ruled against me before you knew anything about me … he called me a fraud and he didn’t know anything about me.”
Referring to New York Attorney General Letitia James, Trump said: “It’s a political witch hunt and I think she should be ashamed of herself.”
Wallace has largely ignored Trump’s asides, instead moving on to the next question. After a particularly agitated exclamation, Wallace asked Trump, “You done?”
“Yes,” Trump replied.
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EST
Real estate valuations aren’t a science, defense says
Despite addressing two overvaluations on his statement of financial condition, Trump has repeatedly tried to stymie the state attorney’s yes-or-no line of questioning regarding his financial statement, underscoring his legal team’s defense that real estate valuations are an art, not a science.
Earlier, in response to a question about the compilation of his financial records in 2021, Trump invoke his work in the White House to demonstrate that he was too preoccupied with the nation’s business to engage in his own.
“I was so busy in the White House,” Trump said. “My threshold was China, Russia and keeping our country safe.”
“Just for the record,” state attorney Kevin Wallace replied, “you weren’t president in 2021?”
“No, I wasn’t,” Trump acknowledged.
Nov 06, 11:44 AM EST
Trump acknowledges adjusting 2 overvaluations
Donald Trump acknowledged during direct examination that he overvalued at least two properties in his statements of financial condition, though he broadly represented that the statements underestimated his total net worth.
“Did you ever think that the values were off in your statement of financial condition?” state attorney Kevin Wallace asked about the document at the center of the case, which the New York attorney general has alleged contained fraudulent valuations.
“Yes, on occasion. Both high and low,” Trump said, appearing to surprise Wallace, who paused to allow Trump to continue his answer.
Compared to his sons, who largely testified that they deferred to accountants and lawyers, Trump portrayed himself as an experienced businessman who “was certainly more expert than anybody else” when it came to the value of his own properties.
Asked about properties like 40 Wall Street and a retail space near Trump Tower, the former president confidently used real estate shorthand to explain why he thought certain properties were undervalued. He also repeated that his brand value — which was not included in his financial statement — is worth billions.
“The most valuable asset was the brand value,” Trump said. “I became president because of my brand.”
However, Trump acknowledged that two properties — his triplex apartment in Trump Tower and his Seven Springs estate in New York’s Westchester County — were overvalued and had to be adjusted in his financial statement.
“I thought the apartment was overvalued when I looked at it,” Trump said, appearing to refer to a $200 million correction applied to his statement after Forbes magazine reported that he falsely stated the apartment was three times its actual size.
Asked about the change in the statement, Trump acknowledged the square footage mistake, which he blamed on a broker, while also claiming that the number was “not far off” from reality when you consider the square footage of Trump Tower’s roof.
“It’s a mistake … [but] there’s a disclaimer clause so you don’t have to get sued by the attorney general of New York,” Trump said.
Trump made a similar admission about the $291 million valuation of Seven Springs.
“I thought it was too high and we lowered it,” Trump said, though he could not provide specifics about the changed valuation.
Nov 06, 11:09 AM EST
‘This is a very unfair trial,’ Trump says
Judge Engoron has continued to interrupt the former president, imploring him to refrain from lengthy responses as Trump has remained calm and measured while attacking the judge and making political pronouncements.
“I beseech you to control him,” Engoron barked at Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise. “If you can’t, I will.”
Kise has attempted to argue that Trump is entitled to answer questions in his own way.
“This is a situation where you have on the stand a candidate for president of the United States. Being here takes away from that effort,” Kise said. “The court needs to hear what he has to say about these statements.”
“No, I am not here to hear what he has to say,” Engoron shot back.
When Trump attorney Alina Habba attempted to weigh in, Engoron raised his voice, telling her, “Sit down already! Sit down.”
After a moment’s pause, Trump weighed in with a measured tone.
“This is a very unfair trial,” Trump said. “I hope the public is watching.”
Nov 06, 10:51 AM EST
‘This is not a political rally,’ judge warns
“Mr. Kise — can you control your client? This is not a political rally. This is a courtroom,” Judge Engoron told Trump attorney Chris Kise following a politically charged answer from the former president. He added, “Maybe you should have a talk with him right now.”
State attorney Kevin Wallace then restated his question, and Trump responded briefly. Within minutes, Engoron grew frustrated again.
“Stricken, stricken, stricken,” the judge shouted from the bench.
Nov 06, 10:42 AM EST
‘Please just answer the questions,’ judge says
Asked by State attorney Kevin Wallace about his 2014 statement of financial condition, Trump took a swipe at Judge Engoron.
“First of all, it’s so long ago — this is well beyond the statute of limitations,” Trump said. “But I’m sure the judge will rule against me because he always rules against me.”
Engoron, who had already directed Trump to answer concisely and avoid lengthy narrative responses, stepped in, addressing Trump’s attorney Christopher Kise.
“Mr. Kise, was that relevant to the narrative?” he asked.
“This is an unusual situation and an unusual trial,” Kise replied. “I think it’s fair for the court to hear his position. I certainly think it’s fair for the American people to hear his position.”
“The comment that I always rule against him … certainly didn’t answer the question,” Engoron said. “You can attack me — you can do whatever you want. Please just answer the questions.”
Nov 06, 10:34 AM EST
‘All Trump haters,’ Trump calls attorneys
Less than 10 minutes into his direct examination, Donald Trump took an opportunity to criticize the investigations and prosecutions that have dogged his life after the presidency.
“You and every other Democratic district attorney, AG, U.S. Attorney were coming after me from 15 different sides. All Democrats, all Trump haters,” Trump said unprompted.
State attorney Kevin Wallace attempted to begin his direct examination by asking Trump his revocable trust — the mechanism that Trump used to prevent business conflicts during his presidency.
“I thought there may be a conflict of interest, so I formed the trust,” Trump said, describing his son and trustee Donald Trump Jr. as “a hard working boy, young man.”
Asked about former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who also was a trustee, Trump spoke highly of his former employee, who later pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
“He did a good job, he was very good at what he did,” Trump said. “We really liked him for a long time.’
Trump said that he briefly resumed control of his trust in 2021 before returning control back to Donald Trump Jr. so he could return to politics.
“He was impressive in business, as was Eric. I thought that I would do that while I continue en route to politics,” Trump said before decrying the political motivation of his multiple criminal cases.
Judge Arthur Engoron has already advised Trump to limit the length of his answers.
“I would like things to move along a little faster. Please answer the questions, no speeches,” Engoron said.
Nov 06, 10:26 AM EST
‘The numbers are much greater,’ Trump says
“This is all ridiculous,” Trump told reporters on his way into the courtroom, regarding the trial.
“The numbers are much greater than on the financial statement,” he said of the New York attorney general’s accusation that he overvalued his properties on this statements of financial condition, before going on to call New York AG Letitia James, who is Black, a racist who has “made some terrible statements.”
Nov 06, 10:07 AM EST
Trump takes the stand
“The people call Donald J. Trump,” state attorney Kevin Wallace said.
With that, Donald Trump rose from his seat, made the short walk from the counsel table to the witness stand, and took a seat.
To his immediate right sits Judge Arthur Engoron and his clerk Allison Greenfield, who Trump has repeatedly criticized as biased. Directly across from him and in eyeshot is New York Attorney General Letitia James, who sits in the courtroom’s gallery with her eyes fixed on the former president.
Trump, wearing a tailored navy blue suit, blue dress shirt, and blue tie, sits slightly slouched in the witness box.
“Please raise your right hand,” a court officer advised Trump. “Do you solemnly swear or affirm that any testimony you give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”
“I do,” Trump said with his hand raised.
Nov 06, 9:55 AM EST
The numbers ‘don’t lie,’ says New York AG
New York Attorney General Letitia James briefly conferred with her team of lawyers in court this morning before taking her seat in the gallery.
Before entering the courtroom, James predicted that Trump will likely engage in “name calling, taunts, [and] race baiting” to distract from his testimony.
“Before he takes the stand, I am certain that he will engage in name calling, taunts, race baiting, and call this a witch hunt,” James told reporters. “But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters are the facts and the numbers, and numbers, my friends, don’t lie.”
Nov 06, 9:48 AM EST
New York AG’s senior counsel to question Trump
Senior Enforcement Counsel Kevin Wallace of the New York attorney general’s office will lead the direct examination of Donald Trump when the former president takes the stand this morning.
Wallace led the depositions of Trump during the New York attorney general’s investigation and also delivered the state’s opening statement in the trial.
“The defendants were lying year after year,” Wallace said in his opening statement.
A constant presence in court during the trial, Wallace joined the New York AG’s office in 2018 after working in the private sector for 15 years.
Wallace and Trump sparred for hours during Trump’s April deposition, according to a transcript of the deposition that was subsequently released by the AG’s office.
“We’re going to be here until midnight if your client answers every question with an eight-minute speech,” Wallace remarked after one of Trump’s lengthier answers.
Wallace tried to press Trump on spreadsheets that Wallace displayed during the deposition, promoting frequent objections from Trump’s lawyers.
“Oh my God — are you people capable of reading a spreadsheet?” an exasperated Wallace said after one objection from Trump’s attorney Chris Kise.
Nov 06, 9:21 AM EST
Trump arrives at courthouse
Donald Trump’s motorcade has arrived at the New York State Supreme Courthouse in lower Manhattan.
Court is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. ET, with Trump scheduled as the day’s only witness.
Nov 06, 8:49 AM EST
Trump prepped for testimony with attorneys, say sources
Donald Trump, in New York, had a prep session with his lawyers Sunday ahead his testimony, sources tell ABC News.
Trump’s mood during the session fluctuated between fits of anger regarding the case and being “in a good head space,” according to sources.
The former president “can be a good witness if he stays focused,” one source said.
Nov 06, 8:23 AM EST
Trump due in court to testify this morning
Former President Trump is due in court to begin his testimony in his $250 million civil fraud trial at 10 a.m. ET.
Hundreds of members of the news media are huddled outside the New York State Supreme Courthouse ahead of Trump’s arrival, with some having waited overnight.
Nov 03, 3:19 PM EDT
Judge extends limited gag order to cover lawyers
After multiple in-court disputes about communications between him and his law clerk, Judge Arthur Engoron modified his limited gag order to cover attorneys in former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial.
“Defendants may reference my staff as is appropriate to ask about scheduling issues or the management of the trial, which is an integral part of their jobs. What they may not do is to make any further statements about internal and confidential communications (be it conversations, note passing, or anything similar) between me and my staff,” Engoron wrote in his supplemental limited gag order on Friday.
Engoron wrote that defense lawyers Chris Kise, Alina Habba, and Clifford Robert made “repeated, inappropriate remarks about my Principal Law Clerk, falsely accusing her of bias against them and of improperly influencing the ongoing bench trial.”
The attorneys have raised multiple arguments during the trial that Engoron and his clerk passing notes between each other suggests impropriety and is distracting. Going forward, if the lawyers want to object to communications with his clerk, Engoron advised that they refer to the order as a “blanket statement.”
“This gag order is as narrowly tailored as possible to accomplish its purpose, which is to protect the safety of my staff and promote the orderly progression of this trial,” Engoron said.
To justify the safety threat, Engoron added that his chambers has received “hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters, and packages” since the start of the trial,
The judge threatened “serious sanctions” for violations of the extended order.
Nov 03, 12:30 PM EDT
Eric Trump, leaving court, criticizes case against his family
Standing in the courthouse hallway where his father earlier railed against his civil trial, Eric Trump echoed his father’s attacks on the New York attorney general and the case levied against his family, following the adjournment of court for the day.
“We have an unbelievable company. We have some of the best assets anywhere in the world. We’ve never had a default. We’ve never missed a payment,” Eric Trump said of the Trump Organization.
Like his father, he described the case as politically motivated and decried the involvement of his family.
“They’ve dragged Don and I and Ivanka into it as collateral damage,” he said.
Later, addressing reporters on the courthouse steps, he said that the state’s efforts should be focused elsewhere.
“Let’s get the murderers off the street. Let’s take care of the crime. Let’s rebuild our infrastructure. Everywhere you drive in New York, you hit a pothole and your car gets destroyed,” he said.
Nov 03, 12:21 PM EDT
Court adjourned for the day, with Trump on deck for Monday
Judge Engoron adjourned court until Monday, when the state plans to call former President Trump to the stand.
“We will reconvene on Monday at 10 a.m., and the first witness will be…?” Engoron asked state attorney Andrew Amer.
“The only witness will be Donald J. Trump,” Amer said.
Nov 03, 11:37 AM EDT
Eric Trump pressed on Mar-a-Lago valuation
Eric Trump has stepped down from the witness stand after facing an hour of questions from state attorney Andrew Amer.
Amer concluded his questioning by directly asking Eric Trump about the $2 million severance agreement between the Trump Organization and its former CFO, Allen Weisselberg.
“Did you participate in the business agreement to enter into this business decision with Mr. Weisselberg?” Amer asked.
“Yes,” Eric Trump said.
“Did your father direct you to enter into this agreement with Mr. Weisselberg?” Amer asked.
“No, he did not,” Eric Trump replied. He reiterated, “I did this agreement with Mr. Weisselberg.”
Pressed on the value of Trump’s Mar-A-Lago property, Eric Trump denied knowing that the club was valued for tax purposes as a commercial property used as a social club.
“It is very clear that Mar-a-Lago is not a club, it is a private residence. I don’t see anything wrong with that. 100 percent,” Eric Trump said.
Previous testimony and documents in evidence demonstrated that despite the property being restricted by deed to club usage, Donald Trump continued to overvalue the property as if it could be sold as a private residence. Judge Engoron already found that the club was overvalued by 2,300%.
“Mar-a-Lago is a residence that could be sold to a private individual,” Eric Trump insisted.
Nov 03, 11:15 AM EDT
Eric Trump testifies that he signed financial certifications
Eric Trump said that he signed three financial certifications to lenders that relied on his father’s statements of financial condition, which are at the heart of the attorney general’s case.
“I certified something I believed was accurate. My lawyers told me was accurate, and our financial people told me was accurate,” Eric Trump said.
While Eric Trump did not certify his father’s financial statements themselves, like his brother Donald Trump Jr., the attorney general has alleged that these certifications to lenders are similarly fraudulent.
Eric Trump said that he did not personally review the methodologies or supporting data for the financial statements themselves, instead relying on lawyers and accountants to verify the documents for him.
“I wouldn’t sign something that I thought was inaccurate,” he said multiple times.
Nov 03, 11:03 AM EDT
Trump lawyer broaches mistrial over unproven report of bias
Eric Trump has resumed his testimony this morning.
Before he took the stand, Donald Trump’s attorney Chris Kise said that the defense team is considering requesting the mistrial on the basis of a Breitbart report alleging bias from Judge Engoron’s law clerk.
“I think the defense will have to give serious consideration to seeking a mistrial,” Kise said, initially referencing a vague media report that “some random individual” filed a complaint on Oct. 3 alleging “accusations of partisan political activity” by the judge’s clerk.
“It’s not information, it’s an allegation,” Judge Engoron initially responded. “I don’t know what you are talking about, and I will respond later.”
A state attorney argued that Kise was arguing a “frivolous position” and requested specifics about the news report Kise cited.
“I’m not the internet person. I want to say it is on Breitbart maybe. It’s on a news outlet,” Kise said, prompting laughter from the gallery.
“This idea that somebody notified me … is absolutely untrue. OK? Absolutely untrue,” Engoron responded. “I will let everybody in the room decide what they think about Breitbart.”
“It’s a shame you descended to this level,” Engoron added.
A court spokesperson subsequently described the report as “not a serious complaint.”
Nov 03, 8:55 AM EDT
NY AG claims Trump Jr., Eric Trump lied to enrich father
After a day of testimony in which tempers at times flared on all sides, Eric Trump will return to court this morning for what is expected to be his final day on the witness stand.
In a video statement posted to social media last night, New York Attorney General Letitia James suggested that Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump’s testimony yesterday highlighted how they lied to help inflate their father’s net worth.
Eric Trump was “intimately involved in lying about the values of properties … to make his father appear richer,” while Donald Trump Jr. “continued to lie” by certifying his father’s financial statements despite being confronted with misstatements, James alleged.
“They pretend that they were not involved in their family’s fraudulent business. But the facts tell a very different story,” James said in the video.
Nov 02, 9:07 PM EDT
Appeals courts rules that Ivanka Trump must testify
A New York appeals court has denied an emergency request from Ivanka Trump to stop her testimony at her father’s civil fraud trial.
Trump’s daughter, who is not a defendant in the case, was subpoenaed by the attorney general to testify.
She is currently scheduled to testify next week on Wednesday.
Nov 02, 6:01 PM EDT
Trump attorney decries trial as ‘waste of NY taxpayer dollars’
Outside court after court was adjourned for the day, Trump attorney Alina Habba defended the actions of Donald Trump’s adult children on the heels of their testimony.
“These children are being brought in, away from their families, for doing nothing wrong,” Habba said.
Echoing Trump, Habba attacked New York Attorney General Letitia James and called the trial “the biggest waste of New York taxpayer dollars I have ever seen.”
“She piggybacked on Trump to get into office. She didn’t do it well enough to become governor,” Habba said, referencing James’ failed attempt to run for New York governor in 2021.
“This is a waste of time,” Habba said.
Exiting court separately with his attorney, Eric Trump shot a thumbs-up to an onlooker ahead of his return to the stand Friday morning.
Nov 02, 5:20 PM EDT
Judge suggests Trump attorney is misogynist, threatens gag order
Court concluded for the day with a threat from Judge Engoron to expand the trial’s limited gag order to include attorneys, after a clash between the judge and defense counsel.
The judge had previously issued the partial gag order prohibiting defendants from making public comments about his staff, after former President Trump posted online about Engoron’s law clerk.
After defense attorney Chris Kise suggested potential bias from the bench, Engoron told him, “Do not refer to my law clerk again.”
“Sometimes I think there might be a bit of misogyny,” Engoron told Kise.
“I have the right to make points on the record,” Kise responded. “If there is bias in the proceedings, I have the right to raise that.”
Engoron, pounding on the bench, shouted into his microphone that Kise had no right to hear conversations between the judge and his clerk.
“I have an absolute, unfettered right to get advice from my principal law clerk,” Engoron said.
Court is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning when Eric Trump returns to the stand.
Nov 02, 4:41 PM EDT
‘I stick by that 100%’ Eric Trump says of appraisal testimony
Eric Trump confidently stood by his past testimony regarding his limited involvement in an appraisal during a heated exchange with state attorney Andrew Amer.
Amer had spent the better part of the afternoon highlighting emails between Eric Trump and a Cushman & Wakefield appraiser, suggesting that Eric Trump was deeply involved in the appraisal of an estate and golf course in New York’s Westchester County. Attempting to paint the testimony as inconsistent, Amer played another portion the deposition Eric Trump had given to investigators.
“I pour concrete. I operate properties. I don’t focus on appraisals between a law firm and Cushman. It’s just not what I do in my day-to-day responsibilities,” Eric Trump said in the deposition.
“Will you concede that your testimony … that you really haven’t been involved in appraisal work on this property was incorrect?” Amer then asked Eric Trump on the stand.
“No. I really hadn’t been involved with appraisal work on that property,” Eric Trump responded. “I was clearly involved to a very small point. I see your emails. One hundred percent. I made phone calls.”
When Amer continued to press the issue, Donald Trump’s attorney Chris Kise loudly objected.
“Are you running the courtroom, or is the judge?” Kise shouted to Amer. “It’s asked and answered, asked and answered, asked and answered, and it’s continued all afternoon. At some point it needs to end.”
“There are a handful of emails well over ten years ago … I stick by that 100%” Eric Trump said.
Nov 02, 4:12 PM EDT
Eric Trump denies ignoring appraisal of luxury NY property
Eric Trump denied that he ignored a professional appraisal that would have significantly lowered the value of his family’s Seven Springs estate in New York’s Westchester County.
State attorney Andrew Amer attempted to show Eric Trump multiple emails and calendar invites from 2014 and 2015 to demonstrate that he was personally involved in an appraisal by Cushman & Wakefield executive David McArdle that placed the total value of the property’s undeveloped lots between $30 and $50 million.
Trump’s 2014 financial statement, in contrast, valued the property at $291 million, including $161 for just seven of the undeveloped lots.
“Can we agree that Mr. McArdle’s valuation in relation to the easement donation he was doing was disregarded?” Amer asked.
“No, the exercises are apples and oranges. Nothing to do with each other,” Eric Trump responded.
Nov 02, 3:53 PM EDT
Attorney continues to press Eric Trump on financial statement
Eric Trump grew visibly irritated as he appeared to struggle with his testimony regarding his father’s statement of financial condition.
Resisting state attorney Andrew Amer’s efforts to show he was familiar with the document at the center of the case, he at times raised his voice and punctuated his short answers with phrases like “obviously,” “clearly,” and “as I previously testified.” Other times he responded with lengthy equivocations, prompting Amer to exhort him to keep his answers to “yes or no.”
“You don’t have to give a speech about that,” Judge Engoron implored Eric Trump at one point.
Amer repeatedly asked variations of the same question: Was Eric Trump aware of his father’s statement of financial condition?
“This is not something I ever recall seeing or working on,” Eric Trump said in one clip from his deposition that was played in court. “This is accounting, and that is not what I do on a daily basis.”
Nov 02, 2:49 PM EDT
Eric Trump appears to contradict deposition
After acknowledging in his testimony that he provided Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney with information for his father’s statement of financial condition, Eric Trump was shown video from his own deposition where he appeared to contradict his testimony in court.
“I have no recollection of ever providing Jeff material to be used in a statement that I’ve ever seen,” Eric Trump said in the deposition he gave state attorneys during their probe.
“I don’t think it would have ever registered” what the material was for, Eric Trump said in court today, responding to his own statement during his deposition.
Nov 02, 2:32 PM EDT
Eric Trump clarifies testimony about email
Eric Trump clarified his earlier answer regarding his involvement in his father’s statement of financial condition, in which he was asked if he recalled a 2013 email from then-Trump Organization controller Jeff McConney asking him for notes for the statement.
“I clearly understood I sent notes to Jeffrey McConney,” Eric Trump testified.
“I don’t think that it ever registered [that] it was for a personal statement of financial condition,” he said.
Nov 02, 8:38 AM EDT
Trump Jr. has helped run family’s business for a ‘long time,’ AG says
As Donald Trump Jr. prepares to return to the witness stand this morning, New York Attorney General Letitia James says the Trump Organization executive VP has been with the Trump Organization for a long time for someone who appears to have so little understanding of the business.
In a video posted to social media last night following Trump Jr.’s first day of testimony, James said the eldest son of former President Trump “claimed to have very little understanding of the accounting and legal mechanics of the family business — but we know he has been involved in running the Trump Organization for a long time.”
Trump Jr. testified yesterday that he relied on the expertise of others when he signed the company’s statements of financial condition, distancing himself from the documents at the heart of the attorney general’s case.
While he acknowledged that he had some of the “the most intimate knowledge” about some of the deals described in the statements, Trump Jr. reiterated that he did not have a role in putting the documents together.
“The accountants worked on it. That’s what we pay them to do,” Trump Jr. said.
Trump Jr. will return to the witness stand this morning, with his bother Eric Trump on deck to testify later today.
Nov 01, 5:36 PM EDT
‘I wasn’t involved’ with financial statements, Trump Jr. says
Before stepping down from the witness stand at the end of the afternoon, Donald Trump Jr. was asked repeatedly about his involvement in the Trump Organization’s statements of financial condition — the allegedly fraudulent documents that underpin the attorney general’s case.
Trump Jr., who signed and certified the accuracy of the statements while his father was president between 2016 and 2021, said that he was not involved in preparing the filings.
“I wasn’t involved in the compilation of this statement of financial condition,” Trump Jr. said, placing the responsibility on his accountants.
“Did you work on the statement of financial condition for June 30, 2017?” state attorney Colleen Faherty asked.
“I did not. The accountants worked on it. That’s what we paid them to do,” Trump Jr. said.
Throughout the afternoon, the tone of the proceedings alternated rapidly between lighthearted and heated, varying from playful interactions between Trump Jr. and Judge Engoron, to bitter spats between some of the lawyers.
“I know you don’t like it when good evidence comes in,” Faherty told the defense lawyers during one particularly heated exchange.
“There’s no reason to raise your voice,” Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer, Clifford Robert, responded.
Trump Jr. is scheduled to return to the stand tomorrow morning.
Nov 01, 4:40 PM EDT
Trump Jr. to resume testimony tomorrow
Donald Trump Jr. has stepped down from the witness stand.
He is due to return to the courtroom tomorrow morning to resume his direct examination.
Court is now adjourned for the day.
Nov 01, 4:25 PM EDT
“Move it along,” judge tells lawyer questioning Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr. and state attorney Colleen Faherty got into a rhythm of quick questions and answers during the first hour of direct examination.
“I moved to Florida, but kept the New York pace,” Trump Jr. joked at one point when asked by the judge to speak slower.
So far the state attorney has focused most of her questions on Trump Jr.’s broader roles and responsibilities at his family’s firm, rather than any specific allegations in the attorney general’s complaint.
“I don’t see where we are going at all with this,” Trump attorney Chris Kise said at one point regarding the questioning.
“Move it along as fast as you can,” Judge Engoron told Faherty.
Nov 01, 3:47 PM EDT
Trump Jr. pressed about departure of ex-CFO
Donald Trump Jr. struggled to answer questions when pressed about why former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg departed the family’s firm.
“Because some legal issues he got himself into,” Trump Jr. said, declining to offer specifics about Weisselberg’s guilty plea on tax evasion charges last year.
Previously giving lengthy answers to questions about his background and even smiling with the judge, Trump Jr. appeared tense on the witness stand as he answered questions about Weisselberg.
“The specific event was he was indicted,” Trump Jr. said.
He added that when began working for the Trump Organization as an executive vice president in the 2010s, Weisselberg outranked him. Trump Jr. would seek Weisselberg’s approval for certain business decisions such as refinancing loans.
“Who is above you in your role as an executive vice president in the Trump Organization?” state attorney Colleen Faherty asked.
“Obviously I would have reported to my father in that period of time … people like Allen Weisselberg would have still been senior to me,” Trump Jr. said of that time period.
Trump Jr. said he gained more responsibility in 2016 when his father became president and he was named a trustee of his father’s revocable trust. He said that he, Weisselberg and his brother Eric Trump became a kind of triumvirate running the Trump Organization.
“We stopped reporting to my father on decisions involving the business,” Trump Jr. said.
That relationship broke down once Weisselberg got himself into “legal issues,” Trump Jr. said. He testified that he could not recall the circumstances of Weisselberg’s exit, including the multimillion-dollar severance deal that Weisselberg received, which Weisselberg faced questions about during his own testimony earlier this month.
“I have no knowledge of the specifics of how it happened. He is no longer working at the Trump Organization,” Trump Jr. said of the former CFO.
Nov 01, 3:22 PM EDT
‘I leave it to my CPAs,’ Trump Jr. says of accounting standards
“Sounds very exciting, but no,” Donald Trump Jr. answered to a state attorney’s question about whether he knows about accounting certifications, professional organizations, or accounting standards other than GAAP, which stands for “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.”
“I know nothing about GAAP,” Trump Jr. said, adding, “I leave it to my CPAs.”
“I’m a real estate broker,” Trump Jr. said as he introduced himself on the witness stand. He testified that he began working in the family real estate business “right after 9/11,” working on Trump Park Avenue and the former Sun Times building in Chicago.
State attorney Colleen Faherty tried to pressed him on his lack of accounting knowledge, prompting several objections from the defense.
Judge Engoron sustained the objections and admonished Faherty against asking negative questions.
-ABC News’ Olivia Rubin contributed to this report.
Nov 01, 3:10 PM EDT
Trump Jr. to be questioned by assistant AG
Assistant New York Attorney General Colleen Faherty will start off the direct examination of Donald Trump Jr.
Faherty is familiar with questioning high-stakes witnesses, having led the direct examination of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen last week.
Her quick objections during Cohen’s cross-examination led Trump attorney Alina Habba to accuse Faherty of trying to “throw off” her game.
A seven-year veteran of the New York attorney general’s office and a former criminal defense attorney, Faherty has been a vocal presence in the courtroom since the start of the trial.
Her willingness to spar with Trump lawyer Chris Kise previously led to some heated exchanges in court, such as a sidebar when Faherty demanded Kise “be more respectful.”
“No,” Kise responded.
“That was rude,” Faherty replied.
Nov 01, 3:01 PM EDT
Donald Trump Jr. takes the stand
Donald Trump Jr. has taken the stand, where he will be the first of the former president’s children to testify.
Before taking the stand, Trump Jr. sat while news photographers snapped pictures.
“I should’ve worn makeup,” he quipped.
Nov 01, 2:30 PM EDT
Ivanka Trump appeals ruling requiring her to testify
One week ahead of her planned testimony, Ivanka Trump has appealed Judge Engoron’s decision to require her to testify in person at the Trump Organization’s fraud trial.
Ivanka Trump’s lawyer Bennet Moskowitz asked an appellate court to decide whether Engoron has jurisdiction to compel her testimony and whether the trial subpoenas issued by the New York attorney general were properly served.
Ivanka Trump, who is not a defendant in the case, is currently scheduled to testify next Wednesday as the final witness in the attorney general’s case before the defense presents its case.
Nov 01, 2:08 PM EDT
Donald Trump Jr. arrives at courthouse
Donald Trump Jr. has arrived at the New York State Supreme Courthouse with his attorney.
Unlike his father and his brother Eric Trump — who have visited the courtroom to watch the proceedings – Donald Trump Jr. has not stepped foot inside the courthouse for the trial until today.
A Trump Organization executive vice president, Trump Jr. is scheduled to testify in the case this afternoon.
Nov 01, 1:44 PM EDT
Defense presses state’s expert on his analysis
Defense lawyer Jesus Suarez spent the first hour of his cross-examination working to cast doubt on expert Michiel McCarty’s analysis, which found that Trump defrauded lenders out of $168 million in interest.
“Who created the universe of documents for you to review? It was the New York attorney general, right?” Suarez said before launching into a rapid-fire succession of questions regarding which lenders McCarty had spoken to in the course of his analysis.
“Did you ever interview anyone from Deutsche Bank?” Suarez asked.
“No,” McCarty said.
“Did you ever interview anyone from Ladder Capital?” Suarez asked.
“No,” McCarty repeated.
“Did you ever interview anyone from Mazars,” Suarez asked.
“No,” McCarty responded.
“Did you ever interview anyone from the Trump Organization?” Suarez asked.
“No,” McCarty said again.
Nov 01, 12:34 PM EDT
Defense assails judge after he tells them to speed up questioning
Only 15 minutes into what is expected to be a three-hour cross-examination, Judge Arthur Engoron snapped at defense lawyer Jesus Suarez for asking redundant questions.
“I see why this is going to take two or three hours. Some questions become three or four more questions,” Engoron said, interrupting the cross-examination to request that Suarez shorten his questions.
That prompted Trump lawyer Chris Kise to criticize Engoron for placing an unfair standard on the defense team.
“You never give them speeches. You never limit their questions,” Kise said about Engoron’s approach to the attorney general’s legal team. “I think it’s unfair.”
Kise stressed that the cross-examination of the state’s sole expert witness is particularly important since his testimony is likely to play into the judge’s calculation of Trump’s potential fine.
“This witness is the only witness they have that even hints … about ill-gotten gains,” Kise said.
Engoron, however, refused to back down.
“I stand by my rulings and statements,” the judge said.
Nov 01, 12:17 PM EDT
Expert agrees that high-net-worth borrowers get low rates
Defense attorney Jesus Suarez began what is expected to be a marathon cross examination of the state’s expert witness, Michiel McCarty, by attempting to use his words against him.
“Historically banks have been willing to lend to high-net-worth individuals at low rates because they get repaid?” Suarez said, citing McCarty’s direct examination.
“That is correct,” McCarty said.
Suarez then reminded McCarty that Trump’s loans were paid on time — a point that the former president has reiterated during his appearance in court and on social media.
Suarez then asked if McCarty had charged the attorney general’s office $950 per hour for his expert analysis.
“That’s my standard rate, yes,” said McCarty, who estimated that his total bill for his analysis was $350,000.
Nov 01, 12:05 PM EDT
Trump’s misrepresentations cost banks $168M, expert testifies
The state’s expert witness, Michiel McCarty, calculated that Donald Trump’s lenders lost $168 million in potential interest between 2014 and 2023, according to a report he presented in court.
McCarty’s testimony appeared to reinforce a central tenet of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case: that Trump’s misrepresentations in his financial statements cost banks potential earnings from interest, even if the banks made money on the loans.
State attorney Kevin Wallace directed McCarty to a footnote in Judge Engoron’s earlier summary judgment order about the concept of lost interest, in which Engoron said, “The subject loans made the banks lots of money; but the fraudulent SFCs [Statements of Financial Condition] cost the banks lots of money. The less collateral for a loan, the riskier it is, and a first principle of loan accounting is that as risk rises, so do interest rates. Thus, accurate SFCs would have allowed the lenders to make even more money than they did.”
McCarty, who said he agreed with this assessment, ultimately found that banks lost a total of $168,040,168 in potential interest from loans related to four of Trump’s properties in Miami, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
Trump attorney Chris Kise fiercely objected, arguing that McCarty was testifying about facts not established during the trial. During questioning, state attorneys declined to ask a Deutsche Bank executive if the bank would have still done business with Trump had they known his financial statements were inflated.
“They are not ill-gotten gains if the bank does not testify it would have done it differently,” Kise said.
“I decided these were ill-gotten,” the Judge Engoron replied.
Following Wallace’s direct examination of McCarty, defense attorney Jesus Suarez began his cross-examination.
Nov 01, 11:03 AM EDT
State’s expert witness takes the stand
Listing companies like Marriott, Fannie Mae and AT&T, the New York attorney general’s lone expert witness, Michiel McCarty, began his testimony by outlining some of the deals he worked on during his nearly 50-year career.
McCarty said that he has worked as an expert witness on “dozens of cases” and testified at 15 trials. But he acknowledged that he had limited experience with the compilation of statements of financial condition, prompting an objection from Trump’s lawyer Chris Kise.
“It appears that he does not have the specific experience relevant to the purpose he is here,” Kise argued.
Deemed an expert by Judge Engoron, McCarty went on to explain the report he wrote after reviewing Trump’s finances.
Nov 01, 10:49 AM EDT
Former Trump Organization VP testifies about Ivanka Trump
Former Trump Organization VP David Orowitz testified about Ivanka Trump’s involvement with Trump’s Old Post Office property in Washington, D.C.
“Ivanka wanted me to change the language in the GAAP section. She asked that I review with you,” Orowitz wrote in a 2011 email to then-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, referring to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles used in the preparation of financial documents.
Defense attorneys have previously tried to downplay the extent to which Ivanka Trump was involved in the representation of Trump’s finances.
Orowitz subsequently stepped down from the witness stand to make way for Michiel McCarty, the state’s sole expert witness, to begin his testimony.
Nov 01, 10:14 AM EDT
‘We have a busy day,’ judge says as court gets underway
“We have a busy day and a busy week, so let’s try to move things along,” Judge Engoron remarked as he brought the courtroom to order to begin the day’s proceedings.
“Would you like to continue your witness?” Engoron asked state attorney Eric Haren.
“We would,” said Haren, before calling back to the stand former Trump Organization vice president David Orowitz, who began his testimony yesterday afternoon.
Defense attorneys Chris Kise, Alina Habba, and Jesus Suarez are sitting at the counsel table, leaving one seat available for Donald Trump Jr., who has not yet appeared ahead of his scheduled testimony this afternoon.
Nov 01, 10:01 AM EDT
Trump rails against judge, gag order
Former President Trump continued to attack Judge Engoron this morning, calling him “crazy, totally unhinged, and dangerous” on his Truth Social platform.
“He then put a RIDICULOUS GAG ORDER ON ME, which we will appeal. He fines me at levels never seen before,” Trump wrote this morning.
Trump recently paid $15,000 in fines related to two violations of the limited gag order Engoron established that prohibits public statements about the judge’s staff.
Trump also complained about the potential fine that Engoron could impose in the case. During court yesterday, the judge remarked that disgorgement — fining Trump for profits made through fraudulent means — is a “clearly available remedy” in the case.
“Now they come up with something called ‘disgorgement.’ I never even heard of the term,” Trump said.
Engoron already ruled in a partial summary judgment that Trump had submitted “fraudulent valuations” for his assets, leaving the trial to determine additional actions and what penalty, if any, the defendants should receive.
Nov 01, 8:45 AM EDT
‘Leave my children alone,’ Trump says ahead of sons’ testimony
Former President Trump attacked Judge Arthur Engoron and New York Attorney General Letitia James on social media ahead of today’s expected testimony from his son Donald Trump Jr.
“Leave my children alone, Engoron. You are a disgrace to the legal profession!” Trump wrote overnight on his Truth Social platform.
Donald Trump Jr. is expected to begin his testimony in the afternoon today.
If that testimony concludes today, his brother Eric Trump could also begin his testimony.
Both of them are executive vice presidents in the Trump Organization.
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