Eric Trump, Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization and son of former President Donald Trump, appeared as a witness on Thursday at the civil trial held at the New York County Supreme Court. His testimony, which is part of a broader inquiry into allegations of fraud within the Trump Organization, is scheduled to resume on Friday.
The ongoing trial involves claims that Eric Trump, alongside his brother Donald Trump Jr. and their father, submitted financial statements with inflated valuations of their assets, constituting fraud. Andrew Amer, representing the Attorney General’s office, probed Eric Trump regarding his involvement in the Trump Organization both before and during the period of his father’s presidency, seeking to clarify his role and responsibilities.
Eric Trump initially distanced himself from the financial statements in question, emphasizing his focus on operations, such as overseeing property construction. However, during the trial, email exchanges between Eric Trump and Jeffrey McConney, the former controller of the Trump Organization and now co-defendant, were presented. These suggested that Eric Trump was asked to review the statements and provide insights on the properties detailed within them.
Both Eric Trump and his brother have testified, maintaining that they did not engage with the financial statements and deferred to professional accountants regarding the Trump Organization’s financial matters. Despite their assertions, they remain defendants in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, while their sister, Ivanka Trump, who was previously a defendant, is appealing a decision that requires her testimony in the trial.
Donald Trump Sr., who is set to testify on Monday, has been vocal on his social media platform, Truth Social, criticizing the proceedings and defending his children against what he perceives as judicial misconduct and bias.
At the heart of the lawsuit is the accusation that the Trump family misled banks and insurers by overstating the former president’s net worth. The New York Attorney General has suggested that the Trump children were complicit in these alleged misrepresentations.
The case has garnered substantial media attention, with Donald Trump Sr. openly condemning Judge Arthur Engoron and Attorney General Letitia James on Truth Social. Trump Sr. has accused the judge of harboring a personal vendetta against him, claiming that the legal actions are an interference with the 2024 Presidential Election.
In a series of posts, Trump Sr. has defended the valuations of his assets, arguing that banks and insurers have profited without defaults and that there have been no victims of the alleged misrepresentations. He has further commented on the safety of New York City streets, linking local crime to the attentions of the Attorney General.
The trial also revisited testimony from Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, who stated that Trump did not direct him to inflate asset values. Despite Cohen’s testimony, Judge Engoron dismissed a motion from Trump’s legal team for an immediate verdict and case dismissal.
Engoron has placed a partial gag order to prevent disparaging remarks about his court staff, previously fining Trump Sr. for violating this order. The consequences of Trump Sr.’s recent posts, in light of the gag order, remain uncertain.
The trial follows a lawsuit filed by James last year, which alleges that the Trump family and associated businesses engaged in fraudulent practices by misrepresenting asset values on financial statements. Judge Engoron’s ruling in September affirmed that the Trump Organization engaged in fraud while building its real estate portfolio.