Donald Trump Jr., executive vice president of development and acquisitions for Trump Organization Inc., speaks at the Turning Point Action conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, US, on Sunday, July 16, 2023.
Eva Marie Uzcategui | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son and co-defendant of former President Donald Trump, is expected to take the stand on Wednesday in the $250 million civil fraud trial in New York of his father, brother and business.
New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges the defendants falsely inflated the values of Trump’s real estate properties and others assets by billions of dollars a year in order to get various financial perks, including tax benefits and better loan terms.
Wednesday’s testimony will give James’ team their first chance in the trial to grill a member of the Trump family about how their closely held real estate empire operates.
Trump Jr. and his brother Eric Trump took control of the Trump Organization as executive vice presidents when their father was elected president in 2017. Ahead of the trial, they both gave sworn depositions in which they downplayed their involvement in creating the financial statements that the AG says were fraudulent.
Trump Jr. is scheduled to take the stand in the afternoon, the first of four members of the Trump family who are expected to testify in the trial.
Trump Sr. lashed out at Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron in a Truth Social post early Wednesday morning. Engoron will deliver the verdicts in the no-jury trial.
“Leave my children alone, Engoron,” the former president posted at 2:28 a.m. ET. “You are a disgrace to the legal profession!”
Trump Sr. is not expected to appear in the courtroom on Wednesday when his son takes the stand.
In addition to seeking around a quarter of a billion dollars in damages, James wants to permanently bar Trump Sr., his son Donald and second son, Eric Trump, from running a New York business.
Engoron has already found the defendants liable for fraud and ordered the cancellation of their New York business certificates. The trial will resolve six other claims alleged by James.
Trump Jr.’s testimony will be followed by his brother Eric on Thursday, according to a schedule from the AG’s office. The former president is expected to testify on Monday, Nov. 6.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who was removed as a defendant on statute-of-limitations grounds by a New York appeals court earlier this year, is set to take the stand Nov. 8.
In a surprise move last week, Engoron ordered the former president to the stand to be questioned about his remarks outside the courtroom, which Engoron considered to be a violation of Trump’s gag order.
Trump in that brief testimony denied that he was referring to the judge’s principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, when he complained to reporters about “a very partisan judge with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside him.” Trump had previously been ordered not to make public statements about Engoron’s staff, after he attacked Greenfield in a social media post.
Engoron did not believe him, saying in a written order that his testimony rang “hollow and untrue.” Trump has now been fined a total of $15,000 for two violations of his gag order.
This is developing news. Please check back for updates.