Donald Trump Jr. Testifies in Civil Fraud Trial, Says He 'Knows Nothing' about Accounting Practices
Donald Trump Jr. appeared in court, seemingly looking calm, to testify in his father Donald Trump's $250 million civil fraud trial, reported ABC News. Trump Jr. joked, denied and distanced himself from the allegations, and declared, "I know nothing" when talking about the company's accounting practices. The former president's other children—son Eric and daughter Ivanka—are also expected to be in court.
The 45-year-old businessman is the first member of Trump's family to stand before Judge Arthur Engoron for the ongoing fraud lawsuit filed by New York AG Letitia James. He appeared composed and denied any involvement in the preparation of his father's financial statements. When asked by Assistant Attorney General Colleen Faherty if he worked on the fraudulent statement, Trump Jr. reiterated, "I did not." Instead, he quipped, "The accountants worked on it. That's why we pay them," reported The Guardian.
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The former President's eldest son was scrutinized over his education and his work at his father's company. Moreover, Trump Jr. entered the court smiling, and while his testimony was delayed, he joked, "I should have worn makeup," as photographers clicked him. That's not all. Trump Jr. showcased his wit when asked to slow down. "I apologize, your honor. I moved to Florida, but I kept the New York pace."
Donald Trump Jr. arrives at the Manhattan courthouse to testify in his father’s civil trial. pic.twitter.com/2JQVB4vhUe— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) November 1, 2023
Trump's eldest son served as a trustee of the Donald J Trump Revocable Trust alongside the Republican's former chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. When quizzed if his father was still a trustee, Trump Jr. replied, "I don't recall." In fact, he had the same answer to multiple questions and went with the "I know nothing" statement regarding the company's accounting practices. He was then pressed to explain his brief exit as a trustee in 2021, followed by being restored to the Revocable Trust.
6/ The AG's office asks several similar questions about accounting certifications and other things. At one point, Don Jr. says, "I have no understanding," then smiles broadly. Laughter bubbles up in the courtroom.— Dan Alexander (@DanAlexander21) November 1, 2023
Trump Jr. responded that in some matters, he had complete autonomy, while in some, he was accountable to chief financial officer Weisselberg. Trump Jr. asserted, "I didn't give them a value of $246 million. I could have sat there and gone through each one of the deals individually and given them an idea of what I believe the cash flow coming from those deals would have been worth, not even knowing it was for the purposes of this."
The Trumps' defense in the NY AG fraud case is— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) November 1, 2023
1) It wasn't fraud
2) If it was fraud, it was our accountants/lawyers' fault
1) The judge ALREADY RULED it was fraud!
2) Donald Trump and Don Jr and Eric all signed the fraudulent statements and thus vouched for them
The businessman reiterated his stance by saying, "I could have very well been involved in inferring that number but not knowing it was for that purpose," per CNN. Trump Jr. further emphasized, "I wasn't involved in compiling the statement of financial condition."
Although the Judge has ruled that Trump committed fraud by inflating his financial assets to gain favors, the ongoing trials will decide the penalty. James demanded $250m and asked to cancel Trump's business license, snatching his ability to run any business in the state.
The former President didn't turn up for trial on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, but as per USA Today, he targeted Judge Engoron through a post on Truth Social: "Leave my children alone, Engoron. You are a disgrace to the legal profession!" Trump Jr. testified for around ninety minutes, and his testimony is expected to continue on Thursday, October 2, 2023.
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