Eric Trump returning to the stand at New York fraud trial

Eric Trump returned to the stand in a Manhattan courtroom on Friday, one day after a lawyer for the New York Attorney General’s Office called his testimony “extremely favorable” to the state’s fraud case against the Trump family.

On Thursday, he and older brother Donald Trump Jr. each downplayed their connection to financial records at the center of the case against them. They testified that they had limited involvement with the preparation of financial documents that inflated the value of Trump Organization properties and their father’s wealth.

The judge in the case has already found the Trumps and their company liable for fraud, determining that they manipulated financial statements to obtain favorable deals with banks and insurers. New York Attorney General Letitia James says the family profited from fraud to the tune of at least $250 million. The Trumps and the other co-defendants in the case deny all wrongdoing.

Eric Trump’s first day of testimony

Eric Trump waits to testify at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023.
Eric Trump waits to testify at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The case revolves around documents called statements of financial condition, which showed inflated values for Trump properties and Trump’s personal assets, and were used to secure better rates on loans and insurance. On Thursday, Eric Trump testified that he didn’t think he “ever saw or worked on a statement of financial condition” and “never had anything to do with” them.

He was shown email exchanges with company executives referring to “annual financial statements” for his father, or the abbreviation “f/s.” Eric Trump said he understood them to be referring to financial statements, but not necessarily the specific annual statements of financial condition that are the focus of the case.

Later, an attorney for James’ office showed pretrial deposition footage of Eric Trump and highlighted apparent discrepancies between Eric Trump’s statements then and evidence collected by the office. 

Eric Trump said he stood by both his testimony and his deposition, but acknowledged that evidence showed he had some involvement in the preparation of the financial statements — “but to a very small point,” he said.

Eric and Donald Trump Jr. each sought to blame the Trump Organization’s accountants — both internal and external — for any inaccuracies that led to the state’s allegations of fraud. Their father, former President Donald Trump, is expected to testify Monday, and their sister Ivanka Trump two days after that.

As Thursday’s testimony drew to a close, the two teams of lawyers argued over whether a lawyer from the attorney general’s office was repeating questions to get the testimony they wanted.

But New York Attorney General special counsel Andrew Amer said he had been “happy with” Eric Trump’s “great” testimony.

“This witness’s testimony is extremely favorable to our case,” Amer said.

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