Former President Donald Trump took the stand today in the New York fraud trial against him and his family’s business, the Trump Organization. Accused of inflating his wealth and the value of his assets, Trump delivered a fiery testimony. [Source]
“I’m sure the judge will rule against me because he always rules against me,” Trump declared under oath, striking a defiant tone against New York Judge Arthur Engoron, who has overseen the case’s developments. The case, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, could have profound implications for Trump’s business dealings, potentially limiting his family’s business activities in the state.
Trump’s testimony marked a pivotal moment in the legal saga that commenced with a $250 million lawsuit filed by James’s office. The suit alleges a yearslong fraud scheme involving the former president, his two eldest sons, and several Trump Organization executives, aimed at securing undeservedly favorable loan and insurance terms by misrepresenting assets’ worth.
The courtroom dynamic was tense as Judge Engoron frequently admonished Trump to refrain from political commentary. “Mr. Kise, can you control your client? This is not a political rally; this is a courtroom,” Engoron implored Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise.
Addressing the courtroom, Trump maintained a combative stance, criticizing the judge and the proceedings. “It’s a terrible, terrible thing. These are political operatives that I’m going to be dealing with right now,” Trump said, underscoring his long-held assertion that the trial is politically motivated. “It’s a very sad situation for our country.”
Outside the courthouse, AG James hinted at a hard-nosed approach to the high-profile witness, stating, “At the end of the day, the only thing that matters are the facts and the numbers, and numbers, my friend, don’t lie.” This statement comes after a contentious history between Trump and the court, including a previous $10,000 fine against Trump for what Judge Engoron found to be “not credible” claims concerning a gag order violation.
The trial’s focus is not just on the past business practices but also on what James’s office has described as “ill-gotten gains,” with the state seeking disgorgement of $250 million and sanctions that would bar Trump and his sons from corporate leadership roles in New York.
Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who already testified last week, echoed their father’s defense, pinning responsibility for any false financial statements on their former accountants at Mazars USA. [Source]
Amidst the courtroom battles, Trump has not shied away from the spotlight, instead using the moments before and after his testimonies to lambast his opponents and the legal process.
As the trial progresses with Ivanka Trump’s impending testimony, the nation watches closely.
This story is still developing.