Updated Nov 1, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Donald Trump Jr. testifies in N.Y. civil fraud trial

Donald Trump Jr. arrives at court for former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial on November 01, 2023 in New York City

Donald Trump Jr. arrives at court for former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial on November 01, 2023 in New York City. Photo: David Dee Delgado via Getty Images

Former President Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., testified Wednesday in the ongoing New York civil fraud trial investigating his family's business.

Why it matters: Trump Jr. is the first member of the Trump family to take the witness stand in the $250 million civil fraud lawsuit.

  • Other members of the Trump family — including the former president himself — are also expected to testify in the trial over the next week.

Zoom in: During Wednesday's 90-minute testimony, Trump Jr. said that he was never involved in preparing the financial statements for his family's real estate company, which are at the center of the lawsuit, CNN reports.

  • "They could have asked me on any given day what a deal was worth," he said, per Reuters.
  • "I may not have known that it was going to be used in aggregate for the statements of financial condition."
  • When shown a statement of financial condition, which has been deemed fraudulent by the judge presiding over the case, Trump Jr. said that he was not involved in preparing it.
  • "The accountants worked on it, that's what we pay them for," he said.

The big picture: New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump last year alleging that he, his associates and the Trump Organization committed fraud by inflating his wealth and assets.

  • The former president has voluntarily turned up several times at the Manhattan courthouse where the trial is being held.
  • He has derided James for bringing the lawsuit, as well as the judge overseeing the case, Judge Arthur Engoron via posts on his Truth Social account.

What they're saying: On his Truth Social account early Wednesday, Trump slammed Engoron and told the judge to leave his children alone. He also argued that the case should be thrown out.

  • Trump wrote that "there is no Victim (except me!). Leave my children alone, Engoron."

Zoom in: Engoron last week ordered Trump to pay $10,000 for violating his gag order in the case.

What we're watching: Trump's other children, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, are also expected to testify.

  • The former president is scheduled to take the witness stand next week.
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